Hundreds took to the streets of Azare, Katagum local government area of Bauchi State to protest the ban of commercial motorcycle operators popularly known as Achaba the state government.
The protests in Azare started at about 8: 00 am on Thursday as hundreds of bike riders demonstrated in the second largest city in the state against the ban.
The protesters rode through Sarduana road, Sule katgum road, Misau road and major streets of Azare before stopping at Emir’s palace to register their complaints against the ban. However, no palace official came to address them at the time of filing this report.
The protesters were seen, holding leaves and chanting in Hausa “We will not agree”. “You cannot ban Achaba because that is what sustains us”, “Do you (government) want us to die”
It will be recalled that Governor Bala Mohammed banned commercial bikes in the hit of Corona virus pandemic saying their activities constituted security risks and fuel the spread of the disease.
The government promised to cushion the effect of the sudden ban by procuring 1000 tricycles to replace them, with 350 already brought in and awaiting distribution.
However, the ban has been widely condemned by residents due to the attendant sufferings on the masses.
They described the ban as ill-thought and did not adequately consider the social and economic impact on residents and the nature of the state where there is no intra-city or public transportation in most cities and towns.
The criticisms and protests are mounting even as the police continued to clampdown on some commercial motorcyclists who defy the ban.
“It is not only Okada riders alone that will suffer it. The citizens will suffer as a result of the ban. For instance, mechanics, those selling fuel, spare parts, engine oil will also feel the ban negatively. The government should reverse the ban and come out with modalities before banning them,” Muktar Muhammed, a resident of Azare, said