Worried by the spate of mob killings in the state, the Ondo State Government has sounded a note of warning that henceforth, any commercial motorcyclist, popularly called Okada rider, found at accident scenes harassing accident victims would be arrested and dealt with accordingly.
Acting Governor, of the state, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa stated this at a meeting held with leaders and commercial motorcyclists on Tuesday in Akure.
Aiyedatiwa gave the warning in a statement issued by Olamiposi Odofin, Press Officer, Deputy Governor’s office.
Recall that on Easter Monday, an angry mob, consisting mostly Okada riders, had stoned 35-year-old Tope Olorunfemi to death, for allegedly crushing two people to death and injuring six others after his vehicle rammed into about five commercial motorcycles along ijoka road in Akure.
The Acting Governor stated that commercial motorcyclists should desist from taking laws into their hands, but learn to follow and believe in the rule of law.
According to him, “Accidents are inevitable and anybody caught in the act of jungle justice after the recent incident would found himself cooling off in prison.
Aiyedatiwa said the last time he met with Okada Riders, it was to celebrate with them, but the meeting was to warn them to desist from acts of always attacking other road users when accidents happened.
“Don’t let us kill ourselves when accidents happen. Let’s always sympathise and take victims to hospital for medical attention.
“Next time that such happens and you are gathering to start problems, all of you present will be first taken to prison before trial. Go and repent and change your ways. We are all one.
“We were here today to warn you and we had previously warned you that we don’t want breaking of law and you must trust the law of the government.
“There is dignity in labour and you must be proud of all you are doing. Don’t always assume that other road users are your enemies.
“Most of you are big men that have trained children with this work and you assume that those in car are more richer than you?,” he said.
Aiyedatiwa, who said government was not happy with the latest occurrence of jungle justice, directed leaders of commercial motorcyclists present at the meeting to pay a condolence visit to the family of the victim.
Also, Special Adviser to the State Government on Transport, Mr Tobi Ogunleye, said the attitude of commercial motorcyclists was nothing to write home about, especially on the recent incident.
Ogunleye said Ondo State was one of the most friendly state to Okada riders and had started clamping down on erring ones
Earlier, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties and Strategy Dr Doyin Odebowale, said those that perpetrated the act had been arrested and government will not sit and watch any further breaking of law and order.
Odebowale said the state government would be hard on them if they continue with their attitudes of breaking laws and order of the state.
Responding, State Coordinator for Okada, Isaac Sico, said not all Okada riders were troublemakers, saying only few bad eggs were the ones giving them bad name.
Sico said that they would not have choice than to follow the laid down rules given by the state government to prevent further occurrence.
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