Accra, Sept. 2, GNA – “Okada” (Motorcycle transport) riders in Ashaiman on Wednesday expressed their excitement and hope in the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) promise to legalize the business when voted into power come January 2021.
The riders at a meeting called by the NDC in Ashaiman to assure them of the Party’s promise, hailed with shouts and accelerations of their bikes amidst horning to show their support.
Mr Ernest Norgbey, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ashaiman constituency said the business was a main source of income generation for the riders and its legalization and regulation of the business would help them deliver better.
He said legalization would prevent the situation where rider’s bikes are being seized by the Police; “you are being arrested because it is illegal.”
He said the legalization and regulation of the business would provide more jobs for those interested and would help generate income through payment of taxes to the government.
“We will make sure the government brings sanity into the transport sector and create operational room for all road users,” he said.
He said when former President John Dramani Mahama, Flagbearer wins the 2020 general elections he would ensure that the promise is kept; “this is not just a promise to win votes, but a promise the former President is committed at delivering”.
He said the promise doesn’t mean the business has been legalized and should be law-abiding till their trade was made legal.
He promised that he would help the Okada riders acquire their license to operate when voted to retain his office as the Member of Parliament for the constituency.
Mr Norgbey said the NDC would introduce a “Free Apprenticeship” programme for those who wish to learn a trade in Carpentry, welding, tailoring, and other crafts.
“President Mahama will not and cannot disappoint you,” he said.
Mohammed Tijani, Okada Riders National Chairman said he had been in the business since 2010 and had been able to build a four-bedroom house and given a better life to his family.
He said the promise by former President Mahama has been well received and was hopeful that when voted into power the next NDC government would not forget their promise.
“We are excited by his promise, he has gone into opposition and thought through it and realized that the best option is to legalize the business,” he said.
Additionally, he said the riders were not armed robbers as speculated but decent persons;” if our trade is legalized we can easily fish out the bad ones”.
Mr David Teye, also known as Senior Rider advised his colleagues to keep to good hygienic practices to ensure that they remained attractive to their customers.
“If you maintain a good body odour people will feel comfortable to sit behind you,” he said.