Scores of Okada Riders (commercial motorbike transporters) in Ashiaman have called for the legalisation of their work in the community.
The Okada business in the Ashiaman Metropolis is fast growing in patronage by most people of the community and its environs, and our operations must be regulated, a survey conducted by the Ghana News Agency has established.
The Okada is considered by many as the faster means of transportation, especially during peak period but not legalized in the country forcing both the operators and the passengers playing hid and seek with security operatives.
Baaba Alhassan, a 58 year-old-man who has been in this business for the past seven years, told the Ghana News Agency that he had resorted to Okada riding after losing his job at the Tema habour.
He, however, complained that the Police and the City Guides always harassed them, “we are not able to work freely because their business is not legally accepted by the country as it is in other neighbouring countries”.
He alleged that some security operatives extort money from them or risk losing the motorbikes.
Baaba Alhassan said armed robbers are also a danger to their business because some riders have been attacked and their motors snatched at gun point by armed robbers, which they later used to commit crime.
He recounted the incident a rider who has a deformed face as a result of acid poured on him by armed robbers.
He denounced assertions that most Okada operators were armed robbers, rather advocated that the business had created many jobs for the youth hence, reducing crime rate and drug abuse especially in the Ashaiman area.
Mr Amidu Baale from Chereponi in the Northern Region who has been in the Okada business for the past four years told the GNA that he is a senior high school leaver and this was the business he does to take care of himself, family and his education.
Mr Baale also pleaded that the government should legalize the business so they could work freely and legally.
Mr Mohammed Abass and Mr Abdullah Abdul-Rahman also okada riders said the business was good but the influx of foreigners from our neighbouring African countries such as Nigeria, Niger, and Mali in the business was destroying the business.
Most of the riders interviewed agreed to pay taxes to the government if the business is legalized.