President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, has faulted the ban of commercial motorcyclists, otherwise known as Okada or Achaba, by some state governments and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA),leadership reports.
Comrade Ajaero also condemned the profiling of motorcyclists as criminals, pointing out that commercial motorcycling has become a source of livelihood to many homes.
This comes as a new trade union, Motorcycle Operators Union of Nigeria (MOUN) sought an affiliation with the NLC.
Speaking at a meeting with MOUN national executives in Abuja, led by its National President, Comrade Julius Bobi, the NLC President revealed that MOUN would be the 45th affiliate body of the Nigeria’s apex labour organisation.
He said: “The idea of banning motorcyclists is an indication of the clear insensitivity of government authorities, who are always prejudicial whenever theft cases are executed to mean cyclists are the ones.
“If you allege that they are the ones and you ban them when they are not, who then is wrong? Again, what provision have you made for them? The government has refused to provide jobs for this category of people. How can they survive with their families? When vehicles engage in accidents and or being used by armed robbers, will this make the government ban vehicles? The answer is absolute no.”
On his part, the MOUN National President said the ban on commercial motorcyclists amounts to “throwing away the baby with the bath water”, even as he disclosed that the body had been successfully registered at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment as a labour union.
He said MOUN is affiliating with NLC owing to its pedigree, mass spread and vibrant leadership, adding that the apex Union would help MOUN achieve its dreams and objectives.
While lamenting that criminal elements have been using Okada operation to perpetrate heinous crimes in the society, Comrade Bobi called on security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.
He assured that the Union would train, retrain and re-orientate its members to be law-abiding and exhibit good conduct in the discharge of their duties.