By Our Reporter, Delta state
Economic activities at Oleh, headquarters of Isoko South local government area of Delta state were recently disrupted following mass protest by motorcyclists, popularly known as Okada over what they described as extortion and illegal fees.
The protest which lasted about several hours witnessed traffic jam in major roads in the town with the Okada riders using the names of the council chairman, Mr. Goodluck Idele and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), in charge of the area, CSP Lawrence Ogoegbulem in chanting unprintable songs.
According to the Isoko South chapter of the Okada Riders Association the council council and the DPO were allegedly behind the N50 daily extortion which is been tagged as “Welfare Ticket”
Speaking to Journalists at the Local Government Council premises, the Acting Chairman of the Okada Association, Comrade Isaac Egbedi and the Treasurer, Comrade Akpoturu Iruoghene described the act as fraudulent and lamented that the illegal collection was been carried out by a group of hoodlums who does not only collect ticket but block the road in the disguise of collecting ticket to rob okada men and their passengers of their belongings.
While calling on the state Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan to come to their aid, the protesters vowed to resist any further act of extortion in the area.
When contacted, council boss Mr. Goodluck Idele denied any knowledge of the act adding that when he heard about the act he swiftly directed the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the area to stop such collections in the interest of peace in the area.
On his part, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the area, CSP Lawrence Ogoegbulem who denied the chairman’s claims stated that the chairman only briefed him of the situation on ground but did not direct him to stop the collection of ticket from Okada riders as he was not aware when the collections started.
Investigations carried out shows that the DPO in connivance with the council’s Vice Chairman, Mr. Fineboy Ebegbare and others in the council are working around the clock to introduce the illegal ticket fees for the Okada riders in the area.
This Mr. Ebegbare also denied swiftly saying “Collection of okada ticket is not included in our council revenue drive.”