A group calling itself the Tricycle Operators Association in the North East Region has described former President John Mahama’s promise to legalise okadas as an attempt to put them out of business.
Addressing a press conference at Nalerigu on Monday, Makom Binjensheim Abu, the interim president of the association, said they were opposed to the planned legalisation saying it will also increase crime.
He feels there is no single armed robbery without the use of a motorbike.
He also questioned why the former President would want to legalise something he outlawed while in government.
“We outrightly reject the proposition for its legalisation and will urge well-meaning Ghanaians to do same,” the association stated.
The Tricycle Operators contend that legalising okadas is not a sustainable way to create decent jobs.
“We think that legalising ‘okada’ is not only a lazy man’s way to job creation but a deliberate attempt to hoodwink the electorate just to get their votes,” Mr. Makom stated.
They also warned that legalising okadas will lead to an increase in the number of road accidents and deaths.
The 2020 manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has among other things promised to legalise the commercial use of motorbikes for transporting people.
According to Mr. Mahama, although, the okada business is currently illegal, it is still operational and supporting many sectors of the economy.
Section 128(1) of the Road Traffic Regulations,2012 prohibits the licensing authority from registering a motorcycle to carry a fare-paying passenger.
Although Okada business isn’t available in the North East Region, the group still called the proposal by the flagbearer of the NDC as a disingenuous one to the youth of the country.
Tricycle business is dominant in parts of the North East Region, becoming the most popular means of transport to shorter distances and into communities that have no commercial vehicles plying their routes.
Operators of the tricycles are mostly young people of the town.