- Some kidnapping victims shared their thoughts on how Okada drivers were used as henchmen to start kidnapping operations
- Further investigation revealed that some of the commercial motorcyclists are used in the communities as whistleblowers and monitors to monitor police officers assisted by Okadariders
The current state of insecurity has been largely attributed to incessant attacks by suspected lawless militants in the east and south-south, suspected Fulani herders in the west and north-central, and incessant attacks and kidnappings by bandits and Boko Haram in the east Core North.
However, it seems to be a question of how these forces mobilize or recruit their students who use them to carry out their daring activities.
In this special report ht some kidnapping victims are told how bandits and kidnappers use the services of Okada drivers (commercial motorcyclists) to continue their evil activities.
“At some point the woman who was kidnapped with me could no longer walk. But the kidnappers, seeing that I was still strong, told me to support them.
“I did this for several hours until we arrived at their camp late in the evening. We were all hungry, including the kidnappers themselves.”
He went on to say that about 10 to 15 minutes after they arrived at the camp, one of the kidnappers instructed another one to call the Okada guy.
“He was just telling his colleague to call the Okada guy. He dialed the number and the only thing he said was “show”. In less than 30 minutes the okada arrived with some loaves of bread and water. We were all tired. We slept in after the okada left. When I woke up and saw that the kidnappers were fast asleep, I escaped.”
How Okada began
Okada is a popular motorcycle company mainly used for transportation purposes. A local name given to either the owners of the shop or the motorcycles.
The word Okadais the name of a popular town in the state of Edo. It is the headquarters of the Ovia North-East Local Government Area.
Also, the motorcycle shop in the city of Okada has been growing in popularity, it is historically associated with the famous airlines Okada then affiliated with Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion.
While the name is commonly referred to as Okada is accepted, some northern states like Kano refer to the deal and those involved in it as Achaba.
But there have been debates in different states about whether to ban Okada or allow them to operate freely.
While Okadas are free to operate in some states, the Lagos State Government has restricted Okada’s business to certain areas. Operators are not allowed in major cities and large industrial areas.
In Imo state, the activities of unknown gunmen have forced the state to restrict the operations of commercial motorcyclists (Okada) in the city of Owerri.
The Government of State plateau Okada had repeatedly banned criminal activities from the city of Jos, the state capital. Although enforcing the order has always been a challenge, the state is ready to end okada‘s activities in Jos.
Attempts to ban the operation of Okada in most states of the Federation has been strongly opposed by commercial motorcyclists and some Okada users. They based their opposition to the policy on the government’s failure to provide an alternative and affordable mode of transportation.
But the governments of various states could provide valid reasons for banning Okada is mandatory, citing the security threat posed by this business.
Bwari kidnapping and use of Okada
The community leader , who didn’t want his name printed, said:
“The same Okada people supply bandits and kidnappers with bread, water and cigarettes. Most of them know about these people.”
How bandits entered Kaduna Airport on Okada
They were able to enter the airport on their motorcycles and escaped through the forest on their bicycles.
Their escape using motorcycles made it somewhat difficult for security forces to catch up with them. However, there are claims by security agents that 12 of the bandits were killed in the attack.
Security Researcher Speaks
According to a security researcher who did not want his name printed as he was not authorized to comment on this Matter to Speak Up:
“Baning Okada can be a good backup for security agents fighting these guys, but you don’t just wake up to banning what people are using as a means of transportation.” /blockquote>
“You must provide an alternative. Of course, by providing an alternative and affordable means of transportation, you have solved a major problem of the crowds. This is even a great relief for the Nigerians who can now do business without much stress. So sometimes using kinetic force isn’t the answer. We need to use other tactics to combat the insecurity.
“Yes, the ban will help, but banning Okada without empowering these young men won’t solve the problem. This is going to lead to more crimes.”
“The issue of kidnapping for ransom is a major issue today and everything aimed at it Ending it should be encouraged.
“A friend in the military had previously told me that Okadas are aides. He said these guys put mud on their tires and drive successfully in the woods and bushes.
“But one thing the government must do after a discreet investigation into the matter is marked areas too ban and not across the country because there are people who are still running real Okada stores, you don’t have to put them out of business.”
While While debates continue on banning okada outright in some states, it is still clear whether such a ban will have a significant and positive impact on the fight against insecurity.