In Kaduna, proposed ban on Achaba raises concerns
The Kaduna State government last week disclosed its plan to ban the operation of commercial motor cyclists also known as Achaba riders. The ban will affect the state capital, Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan.
Commissioner of Information, Alhaji Saidu Adamu, had while briefing newsmen at end of the weekly state executive council meeting said arrangements for the ban had almost been completed.
To give legal backing, he said the state commissioner of justice Barrister Jonathan Adamu Kish had been directed to work on a bill to be presented to the State House of Assembly.
He said the state government will disburse 700 tricycles to the affected bike taxi riders to cushion the effect of the ban.
But Daily Trust gathered that only 30 percent of Achaba riders will benefit from the gesture. And this will certainly compound the unemployment situation.
Our reporter learnt that the move is aimed at checking the use of motorcycles to perpetrate insurgency in the state. But a cross section of Achaba riders interviewed by our correspondents believed that the ban will worsen the security situation if enough tricycles are not provided to replace the motorcycles being faced out.
The population of Achaba riders in Kaduna State, according to the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycles Owners and Riders Association stands at 1,365,000. Daily Trust could not independently verify this claim. Now government has purchased 700 tricycles for distribution to them.
An Achaba rider in Kaduna metropolis, Hamisu Mohammed Paki, said the ban will only be meaningful if government will provide tricycles to all those affected by the ban.
He said: “Along Taiwo road alone, we have over 700 registered motorcyclists, talk less of the whole state. So how can government disengage over a million motorcyclists in the state when it has just 700 tricycles on ground; what will happen to the remaining people?
“Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero promised to create more jobs for the people; he has not created any jobs and he is taking the one we have at hand,” Paki lamented.
Another rider, Alfred Otuterigha, who is also a pensioner, said if government must ban Achaba, it must look for a way of engaging those who have made it a source of livelihood.
“If government wants us to be paying revenue, they should come out and tell us. But the fact still remains that there are places that are not motorable, and can only be accessed by the motorcycle.
“We were told the price of the motorcycle was N300, 000; how can somebody buy tricycle at N300, 000 when he can get a second hand car at that price. Police will also have much work to do as crime will increase,” he stressed. Mrs Martha Ikoyi, a market woman, expressed reservations over the government plans. She said the employment situation does not warrant such as decision.
“Already, there is high level of unemployment, so stopping commercial motorcycle operation will further aggravate the insecurity situation. In fact the rate of crime will increase. Although evil people are using bike to carry out evil acts, the ban will affect the majority who are using it for commercial purpose,” she stressed.
She said the ban will make her business to suffer because she takes bike every morning from her house to the junction before taking a bus to the market, and that the same thing applies when she closes from the market.
Saminu Umar, an Achaba rider at Taiwo, kicked against the planned ban saying that is the only means by which he takes care of himself and his family.
“Banning Achaba will affect my life severely because that is all I have got to live on. I was working with United Nigeria Textile before it was closed down and I resolved to take to Achaba business to make ends meet. Now government wants to send me out of work again,” he said.
Umar, father of four, said the ban may not augur well for the state. “I am appealing to government to calm down on the issue. I beg government in the name of God,” he pleaded.
Speaking to Daily Trust, Chairman of Achaba riders in Kaduna, Auwal Mohammad, said if the government fails to fulfil its promise to distribute tricycles to his members, the ban may lead to some unhealthy development. He denied media reports that the association had endorsed the ban.
“We never told the state government that we were in support of the ban. They told us that when they ban commercial motorcycles, they will provide those affected with tricycles, and we said it was a welcome development. If you are riding a motorcycle and somebody offers you a tricycle, no doubt you are going to be happy. Besides, none of our members wants to spend the rest of his life in Achaba business.
“If the government cannot give all Achaba men tricycles then its action will amount to injustice and the ban will be off no use. We can never support anybody that wants to stop our people from earning a living. So the issue of saying we support the government is baseless,” he said.
Giving statistics, Mohammed said “we have over 1,365,000 million Achaba riders in the state and the government has brought only 700 tricycles. Out of these 700 the government only promised to give us 210 tricycles to share to our members.”
The Civil Rights Advocacy Association has also joined in condemning the ban on the operation of Achaba riders in parts of Kaduna State.
In a letter addressed to the state House of Assembly, Secretary of the group Mallam Nasir Abbas and Dirctor of Public Affairs Suleiman Ahmed said the ban on Achaba operations would have a multiplying effect on crime rate in the state.
“Rather than outright ban, we wish to request that an alternative means of absorbing the teeming population of restive youths be provided, with a well defined campaign for re-orientation to educate the populace of the sincerity of the government policies and actions,” the group said.
there are three things to be done to make agric business in nigeria pre and post...
keep on malam adamu dont give up you are a truly bonafide jounalist.
How do we access the funds, why are there no jingles and adverts on radio and te...