Former President Jerry John Rawlings is calling for tougher actions against operations of commercial motorbike riders also known as ‘Okada’.
Mr. Rawlings says the illegal activities of these riders cause a lot of needless deaths.
He is also unhappy about what he describes as the unregulated construction of speed ramps on major highways.
“If you are an Okada rider or a driver and you want to die, go and die alone, but don’t take people along with you and drive irresponsibly or tired and kill people. We are building illegal speed ramps, these are obstacles and we are not being imaginative enough”, he spoke at an Independence event at Sogakope.
Okada is a term that emanates from Nigeria. It refers to a motorbike. Lagos, which was once the capital of Nigeria, was so choked with traffic that it was only motorbikes that could move business persons within Lagos with the necessary speed. Secondly, the Okada was able to take passengers to places where the road was very bad.
Today in Ghana, Okada has become a part of the Ghanaian vocabulary. It is an open secret that though the Ghanaian laws make it illegal for a motorbike to be used for commercial purposes, the Okada business is a booming one. This has raised several issues. A section of the Ghanaian public, mostly the middle class and the upper class, are calling for a ban on the use of motorbikes for commercial purposes.
Ghana has been hit with several accidents, which has claimed lives, the latest was the Kintampo accident on March 9, 2020.
The accident which has claimed about 30 lives involved a Yutong bus and a Sprinter bus.
Ghana’s road safety statistics have not made for pleasant reading in recent times with road crashes claiming 2,284 lives in 2019, according to provisional data compiled by the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD).
This would be the highest fatality figure in the last decade if validated by the National Road Safety Authority.