By Chris Chimezie
Ondo State Government has warned that henceforth, it would no longer tolerate the use of mask by commercial motorcyclists otherwise known as ‘Okada’ riders in the state.
Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the State Governor on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale dropped the hint while briefing Government House Reporters in Akure yesterday.
He said the state government had earlier embarked on series of sensitization campaigns, informing the Okada riders that people of the state are scared of seeing their faces hooded, hence the need desist from such act.
Odebowale who added that what the state government will not accept is for them to cover their entire face and appear like a Ninja, hinted that this has been spelt out to them in about three times during their sensitization campaigns.
“Before now, we have not made any arrest, but have been removing and seizing the masks with a view to ensuring that they adhere strictly to the state government’s directives.
“But yesterday (on Wednesday), we got another complain about certain robbery incidents in Akure metropolis, that some men, under the guise of ‘Okada’ riders, picked some women and robbed them in the process.
“Those robbed, claimed that those who dispossessed them of their belongings had their faces covered with masks.
The SSA on Special Duties and Strategy added that the ban cuts across all the local governments and border towns which included Osun, Ogun and Edo states.
“We are not insinuating that robbers do come from these areas, but we do not want to take chances.
Dr Odebowale further assured that Policemen would begin to apprehend recalcitrant ‘Okada’ riders who may decide to turn deaf ear on the directive of the present administration towards non usage of masks.
The seized and confiscated masks were set ablaze.