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Kwara govt launches uniform for ‘Okada‘ riders to tackle kidnapping, other crimes

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Kwara govt launches uniform for ‘Okada‘ riders to tackle kidnapping, other crimes

In a bid to strengthen public safety and reduce rising cases of kidnapping, Kwara state Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on Thursday launched an operation ‘uniform for commercial motorcyclists’ (Okada Riders) in the state.

He said the step was to properly identify such riders as part of the government’s efforts to strengthen public safety.

The governor in a statement released on the official Facebook page of Kwara state Government said the initiative was taken in collaboration with the Okada Riders Association of Nigeria (ORAN) Kwara state branch.

“The main reason we are launching this uniform is for identification and promotion of public safety. We have been receiving reports of cases of kidnappers reportedly using Okada riders as a means of achieving their devilish mission,” he said.

The government had earlier set up a Transport Sanitisation Committee chaired by the state Commissioner for Works, Rotimi Iliasu, to look into ways of sanitising motorcyclists’ operation for an improved safety of the citizens.

“How do we protect ourselves? We have to start by first identifying ourselves, giving out uniform and capturing their data at no cost. The government is bearing all this knowing that as long as transport operators and their operation are safe, then safety is ensured in the state.” Rotimi said.

Read also: Kwara govt suspends head of Arabic school over students’ maltreatment

“Another aspect we are looking at and which also starts now is that for every commercial rider there will be an identity card which will be tied to their numbers on the given uniform. So that intending passenger can easily send a text to the number sighted on the uniform the affected rider is wearing. By doing this, he or she will be able to know the full identity of the riders,” he added.

“Again, if you want to pick Okada and not sure of who the rider is bearing in mind that he can be a kidnapper, you can send the number of the rider you are boarding to anybody, if you end up missing it will be very easy to trace who has picked you. So it is a way to provide security.”

He said the kitting exercise was expected to last for two months, hoping to cover the entire parts of the state, while also enjoining the operators to help mobilise their colleagues to embracing the scheme.

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