The menace of commercial cyclists popularly known as “okada” again reared its ugly head Ibadan, Oyo State on December 23, 2020 as a cyclist passing through one way, hit a former Chairman of the Ibadan branch of Nigerian Bar Association(NBA), and a prominent Egbe Amofin leader, Chief Emmanuel Abiodun, killing him instantly.
A former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, Chief Mutalubi Adebayo Ojo narrated the incident to Gavel International.
He said: “On Wednesday, the 23rd December, 2020, the sun set for the Ibadan Bar at the noonsday when an unknown hit and run okada rider, in their usual notoriety, knocked down one of the finest gentlemen ever produced by the legal profession, Chief Emmanuel Abiodun;
The consummate Bar Man, an ex- World Kegite Chief, a past Chairman and a Patron of the Ibadan NBA, a thoroughbred professional and a very meticulous person wanted to cross over to the other side of the road at Alesinloye market area, Ibadan after his driver had parked at the other end. Sadly enough, he was hit and knocked down to death by a commercial Okada rider who emerged from the blues and apparently drove against all the traffic rules and regulations.
May the soul of our past Chairman and reverred Patron rest in peace and at home with His Creator”. Chief Abiodun was 82 years old.
Those close to the bar leader recounted how he suffered from I’ll health in 2019. “It was through the grace of God that he survived the sickness which we consider as a miracle, only for a careless hit and run okada man to kill him! It is very sad’, he said, full of emotions.
Adebayo Ojo called on the governor of the state, Mr Seyi Makinde to curb the menace of motorcyclists in the state. “All well-meaning citizens , residents and all genuine lovers of Oyo State must as a matter of urgency and in the overall interest of our pace-setter call on Governor Seyi Makinde, known and addressed as GSM to please sit up and hit the ground running in tackling among other numerous security concerns, the menacious existential threat that indiscriminate operations of Okada riders pose and constitute to the security of lives and properties in our dear State;
Any casual visitor or even tourist to Oyo State would be safe to assume and conclude that Oyo State engages daily, in okada rough driving durbar once one enters anywhere in the State;
The reason for that assumption is not far-fetched and it largely depends on Oyo State having opened her boarders and doors to becoming the safe haven and dumping grounds to all manners of men operating those un-cordinated routes all over the state without any regards whatsoever for the lives and security of other road users at all;
With the chaotic operations of okada riding in Oyo State, hundreds of citizens of our State have been sent to their graves untimely while numbers greater than that have been been maimed or totally incapacitated due to the reckless and uncontrolled operations of the okada riders in Oyo State. It is an understatement to assert that Oyo State has become a dumping ground for the operations of those merchants and agents of death;
I want to appeal to the conscience of GSM and his lieutenants to stop forthwith their roller-coaster style of populist governance and to please get serious to take firm decisions and drastic measures to arrest the increasing dangerous trend in order to preserve the lives of all other citizens of the state who are lucky for now from either having their lives snuffed out untimely and or consigned permanently to wheel chairs”, he concluded.