Close to 8years after the Edo government threatened to destroy commercial motorcycles that flouted the orders banning the, the government has licensed their use.
The government had advised all bike riders to comply and keep off the road in 2013 adding ‘Should any bike rider flout this order, he will be dealt with ruthlessly. The bike will be confiscated and destroyed’.
“In the interest of our collective security”, the governo then said, “I ask you to appreciate that this is a sacrifice that you have to make. Everyone must make sacrifice and be security conscious.
“We are currently facing security challenges across the country and the progress made in some parts of the country has its own challenges in other parts of the country.
“There will be time this issue will be resolved and everyone will be happy. Do not doubt our will to enforce this decision.
But in a volte face and part of a revenue drive, the state government for a fee has now approved the use of bikes to carry out courier services and make home deliveries of assorted packages across the state capital, Benin City.
Many of these bikes with boxes on their rear can be seen daily on the streets making undisclosed deliveries to assorted clients who pay them.
Sources say that not all of these bikes are licensed as many have seized the opportunity to embark on illegal courier, transport and messenger services, and even crimes, the ban notwithstanding.
In 2013 the government banned the use of motorcycles in major streets in some municipal local government areas of the state like Oredo, Ikpoba-Okha and Egor and
Aduwawa in Uhnmwode and Ekosodin in Ovia North East.
The government said the ban on private owners of motorcycles from using them within those areas was in the overall security interest of the state
The government had appealed to the residents to comply with the directives as security agencies had been mobilised to enforce the ban.
Thereafter the government licensed Tricycles or keke to operate in the affected areas. But motorcycles appear to be coming back.