LEAGUE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS JOS, NIGERIA

Thursday, June 24, 2010

GOVERNMENT'S INSENSITIVITY AND OKADA RIDER'S SENSELESSNESS

8th June 2010
PRESS RELEASE

GOVERNMENT’S INSENSITIVITY AND OKADA RIDERS’ SENSELESSNESS

We observed with utter dismay the upheavals that rocked the city of Jos yesterday the 7th June 2010, which led to the displacement of people; partial collapse of economic activities in the city center; the killing of innocent citizens; and the vandalization of properties.
Every sane human being will condemn in strong terms the way and manner the okada riders resorted to taking the laws into their hands. The action of the Okada riders does not elicit sympathy from us because it smacks of high level of irresponsibility and a gross violation of an existing law. The innocent people killed by the protesters did not enact the law neither were responsible for the enforcement of the law. We candidly and urgently call on the leadership of the okada riders to call their members to order and find alternative means of channeling their grievances and remain law abiding citizens of the state.

In the same vein, we want to condemn in totality the half-hearted action taken by government in trying to enforce the law prohibiting the operation of commercial motor-cycle riders. It is saddening that the will of government is invariably tested without appropriate measures to curtail such brazen effrontery on the government. It is pertinent therefore, that if government lacks the political will to consummate this ban it should restrain from embarking on it than to start something that will cause the dead of innocent people. We are aggrieved at the insensitivity of the government towards the deployment of adequate security personnel to nip the senselessness of the protesters in the bud.

Looking at the volatile nature of the okada riders and their nuisance notoriety, which informed the ban in the first place, government would have been more sensitive in its approach to implementing the ban. We expect that adequate security measures should have been put in place in order to checkmate the activities of the okada riders as this would have averted the chaos that happened in the city of Jos.

When government is implementing its policies, it should be committed in ensuring that it is been enforced to the later instead of half-hearted implementation of policies. In implementing a ban of such it is expected that government provides alternative means of transportation which will ameliorate the suffering imposed by the ban on the citizenry. It is equally envisaged that government would integrate the okada riders through the provision of other sources of livelihood to check the impending negative influence their idleness will bring to the society. But the absence of such remedial policies undermines the effectiveness of the law. It becomes untenable if government puts a show in trying to ban the okada riders and later go to sleep only to be awoken by the same okada riders roaming the street.

This incident has created victims and it would be doubly insensitive on the part of government not to adequately compensate them. Everyone affected by the chaos should be adequately compensated.
The Okada riders should also be warned that there is no justification for flouting the law of the land and those found to have cause the chaos be dealt with accordingly. We also want to put it on notice that government would be held responsible in the event of another breakdown of law and order in the state because what happened yesterday was totally avoidable.

Patience Dassah
Programme Coordinator

POSTED BY
KHALID KASSIM

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