Bishop Ikeakor to Obiano: Banning okada in Anambra will increase crime

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 8 June 2018 | 2,698 times

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•Commercial motorcyclists

 The Anglican Bishop of Amichi Diocese, Most. Revd Ephraim Ikeakor, on Thursday, criticised the recent ban of commercial motorcycle operators, Okada within the Awka capital city and the commercial city of Onitsha Anambra state government.

Addressing journalists at the pre-synod briefing for the first session of the 4th synod of Amichi Anglican diocese at St. Stephen's Anglican Church, Osumenyi, Nnewi, the Bishop said that such policy, instead of reducing crime rate, will rather make increase it.

He maintained that limiting the scope of operation for the motorcycle operators in Onitsha and Awka makes better sense than outright ban.

His words: “I am worried because the level of criminality that we may experience in this state as a result of the ban, we may not survive it if these motorcycle operators don’t have alternative means of livelihood.

“Anambra is a pure business area. Maybe, what the governor should have done was to limit their scope of operations in Onitsha and Awka or in some federal roads axis or other similar roads. That would have been understandable. But banning them at places like Nibo, Agu-Awka, Nise, Amawbia axis and where students live, I think, we are trying to chew the corn that we cannot vomit.

Ikeakor advised the state government not rush the implementation of the policy of banning okada in Awka and Onitsha, saying it would be disastrous for Anambrarians.

He, however, threw his weight behind Governor Obiano’s demolition of shanties and illegal structures across the state, adding that the governor’s action is in line with the master plan of the state.

He added: “One problem we have in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, is when we institutionalise indiscipline, somebody that is coming for sanity becomes a wicked person.

“If you go to other developed countries of the world and see the way things are organised, you will enjoy it. We have master plan in Anambra state and people never wanted to use it.

“Everybody is shouting that the government is wicked, I can only join in that condemnation if I have a master plan of an area where the government is demolishing that does correspond to the master plan arrangement.

“That is when I will say that the government is wicked. You don’t run democracy on sentiment and emotion, if you must do the right thing, you must step on toes. So, I cannot condemn it until I get evidence that there are legal structures that were demolished, but if not, we must demolish to establish the right thing.”

Speaking on the theme of the 2018 synod, “Thou shall not steal”, the Bishop expressed worry on the rate at which stealing has permeated through the church and warned Christians to desist from such ungodly lifestyle.

He noted that politicians who embezzle public fund did not only steal but have prepared a hell fire for themselves.

While explaining the meaning of stealing, the bishop observed that a married man or woman who sleeps with another is stealing.

He said: “Stealing is obtaining what does not belong to you without permission and this can be seen in government circle among politicians, in churches among clergy and the entire Christendom, in families among parents and children and stealing can only be stopped when we accept Christ as our personal lord and savior.”

It would, however, be recalled that the state government, after the State Executive Council meeting, last month, directed Okada riders to look for alternative source of livelihood if they want to remain in Awka and Onitsha as their operation within the two cities would be suspended on July 1st, 2018.

According to the government, the ban was part of government resolve to crackdown on crime and criminalities, and restore sanity in the state.

Source: News Express

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