Okada operation transformed in Anambra, other places with lawyers, other professionals heading new departments

The National Legal Adviser of Motorcycle Operators Union of Nigeria, Mr Emeka Onedibe has announced on-going transformation of commercial motorcycle business in Nnewi and other parts of the country to ensure sanity and acceptable standard.

Mr Onedibe disclosed the innovation to include creation of legal and enforcement department which he is heading; industrial relation department; education department; department for the physically challenged; insurance scheme and provision for scholarships.

Onedibe who is also the personal assistant to the national president of the union (operations), Chief John Onedibe said the union had been registered as a trade union and an affiliate member of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

He explained that okada business in Nnewi, Anambra as a whole and other states had changed both in form and operation away from what it used to be.

The lawyer further disclosed that there were still some associations in Anambra existing as okada operators which were products of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) insisting on their individual identity.

He, however, noted that given the fact that his union was still a new born baby, that it was expected all okada associations existing in Anambra would not join the trade union at a go.

“We are following the situation through the due process of law. What we’re running is a trade union which is a product of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity and an affiliate of the NLC.

“The business we are running now is completely different from what it used to be. The trade union as it is now is being managed by the educated class. That’s why apart from normal field workers, we have various departments that are headed by graduates. The modus operandi of okada business has change.

“Our taskforce team, well trained, can easily be identified by their uniform and that distinguishes them from the groups not registered with us.

“We observe the fundamental rights of our members and any of our members whose right is violated has the right to report the violation to the appropriate department in the union for immediate action.

“The Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity monitors our operation to ensure that it agrees with the law that registered the body.

“It is not an individual business like those who registered with the CAC with one man collecting levies from commercial motorcycle operators for their individual pockets.

“As a trade union, many state governements have recognized us as the sole body that has the power to manage commercial motorcyclists in the respective states like Kwara, Niger and Kogi as examples, “he noted.

Onedibe also said that the essence of the registered trade union was to assist governement to provide maximum security for the governed.

On accusation that some okada riders sometimes get involved in crime commission, he said: “Accusation cannot take the place of facts.

“Some people have always accused okader riders of committing crimes. But I can tell you that none of our members had ever been convicted in any court for committing any crime in the course of rendering services to the public.

“Kidnappers don’t use motorcycles. They use Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). Even armed robbers use motor vehicles except on few occasions. So, attributing any crime committed to okada riders is unfair.

“It’s for the purpose of that the Federal Governement registered all okada riders as a trade union for easy identification. The truth is that okada riders are helping governement to fight insecurity in various states, “he concluded.

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