The flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, is calling on critics of his promise to legalise the okada business to stop acting like “ostriches.”
According to him, the business has come to stay.
Mr. Mahama made these comments on Monday, September 14, 2020, when he was met by the leadership of the okada business at the premises of Class FM where he had an interview.
He added that okada is the only means of transport for some people in some parts of the country.
“When I announced our intention to legalise okada and regulate it, there were varied opinions on it. We cannot behave like ostriches with our heads in the sand because it’s a business that has come to stay and sustaining many people. We like it or not, it is reality and so it’s better we legalise and regulate and make it safe so that they can become part of our transport modes.”
“There are some people who ride motorcycles to work every day because that is the means of transport they can afford. There are those who ride it to deliver parcels, food and other items and there are others who use it for commercial purposes and people sit behind, and they take them from one location to another. If we legalise it, we will be able to make it safer. We will be able to ensure that there is some insurance for the person sitting on it so if anything happens the person is covered.”
The leadership of the Association also thanked Mr. Mahama for recognising their business and promised to support and campaign for him in the upcoming 2020 elections.
“We are here to assure you that we are so happy you have realised that the work we do is important and you have assured to legalise it for us. We believe and know that you are going to put things in place to make our work safer. On the day you launched your manifesto, we saw our work in it, and we were so happy. Others don’t know some of us are also family and have children that depend on us and are of age to vote and all. We want to assure you that we are going to join you and do the campaign together with.”
Work towards proper transport plan, not legalising okadas – Economist
Meanwhile, Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie, an economist, has urged the National Democratic Congress to come up with a more substantive plan for the transport sector than simply legalising commercial motor transport.
Speaking on The Big Issue, he said he was against the NDC’s plan to legalise okada operations.
“If they are saying they are going to legalise it because it has come to stay, that I will not support.”
Dr. Sarkodie also said it was not prudent to compare Ghana to other countries like Nigeria that have mainstream use of okada.
“I have heard people say we should legalise okada because okada has come to stay. I do not support this argument. Nigeria is not our model. What is the Ghana model in terms of transportation?”