Commuters in Mpape area of Abuja went through harrowing experiences Thursday as motorcycle operators otherwise known as okada in the area, embarked on strike.
Workers and school children who depend on the services of okada riders to get to their destinations had to trek long distances to access few available vehicles from the Wuse and Garki areas of Abuja.
Many of the school children who could not do the long trek did not to go to school on Thursday.
Aminu Mohammed who refused to give the name of his school in Mpape said in Hausa language that he could not trek to school because his school was far from his residential area. He spoke through an interpreter.
”My school is far and I cannot trek to school. So I will miss school today and may not even go tomorrow if the situation persists,” he said.
A bricklayer at a construction site towards Maitama Extension who does not want his name in print said he was weak after trekking to the site and will have to rest for a while before.
Many of the commuters were seen trekking along the Mpape road towards the A Y A/Kubwa/Zuba express-way.
An okada rider interviewed by signaturetv.org, said his members were on an indefinite strike owing to constant harassment by police officials. Another rider said they clashed with the police yesterday(Wednesday) by the Mpape market.
”We are not likely to go back to work until the police allow us to do our legitimate work. I do not know what they want us to do, go and become kidnappers or armed robbers,” one of the riders who refused to mention his name said.
Many of the commuters who reside in Mpape, a suburb under Kubwa area have been lamenting the withdrawal of services by okada riders, who they say have been like a saving grace to them in the face of harsh economic realities.
Okada riders in the Mpape area of Abuja who relocated to the suburbs following the ban on motorcycles in the Abuja city center have been plying their trade peacefully until yesterday when they had issues with the police.