From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Oyo State Police Command has introduced stop-and-search operations to check the menace of motorcycle-basec crime across the 33 local government areas of the state.
Commissioner of Police Mr Adebowale Williams, who made the disclosure during an interactive session with the media on Wednesday, said the stop-and-search operation was imperative to check the way by which gunmen have been using motorcycles to rob and shoot people indiscriminately.
According to him, he has reached out to the security taskforce set up by the state government, Operation Burst, and the Amotekun Corps, as well as vigilance groups for collaborative actions to deal with the sad development.
Williams made this known as the state government has begun registration for motorcycle riders, which includes biometric data capturing for all operators, and their owners in the state in a bid to check the massive influx of commercial motorcycle riders.
The Executive Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde on Administration and General Services, Rev’d Idowu Ogedengbe, said recently that thousands of the motorcycle riders and their owners have been captured into the database of the state, and the registration is still ongoing.
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The registration, according to him, followed the ban of many okada riders in Lagos State and the influx of the displaced commercial motorcyclists to the state, coupled with the fact that the state police command has paraded on different occasions, some okada riders, using the means of transportation to commit crime.
Ogedengbe warned that any commercial motorcycle rider that failed to register, would face the wrath of the law as the Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA) has been directed to apprehend those that have refused to register. He added that the first thing every commerical motorcyclist must do before starting operation in the state is to get registered. The registration, according to him, would assist the government to track down those that may be using the means of transportation to commit criminal offences.
“The Ministry of Works and Public Transport is working in consonance with the Management Information Centre of the Oyo State Government to embark on a programme of registering and regulating all okada riders in Oyo State. If you are using your Okada for commercial business, we want to have your details in our database. We will capture the chasis and number of that okada. We will get the phone number and pictures of that Okada owner, and even that of the rider,” he said.
“If any of them commits any offence or crime, we will be able to track them down. We are also concluding plans to kit them up with jackets. We have already given out the first contract and a total of 5,000 okada riders are already captured on that database.
“According to our governor, we are a government that depends on data, science and logic. We don’t just want to take a decision without first critically examining it, looking at it empirically. We all know that okada business is a means of livelihood for some of our people. If we ban it outright, it will affect a lot of household income.
“What we want to achieve with this is to reduce the security threat that those people riding on motorcycles could bring upon our state. We don’t want to do it in a way that we will impinge on the rights of any law abiding okada rider, going about with his means of livelihood.”