I’ll legalise “Okada” when elected President – John Mahama

The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has reiterated his commitment to legalising the operations of commercial motorbike riders, locally known as “Okada” if elected in the 2024 general elections.

The NDC’s plans to operationalise the “Okada” business were disrupted after their defeat in the 2020 general elections.

Speaking to motor riders in Ashaiman, on Friday, May 31 2024, Mr. Mahama stated that the party has included the legalisation of Okada activities in their 2024 manifesto.

He criticised the current government for failing to fulfil its promise of replacing motorbikes with cars.

“We have in our manifesto that we will legalise “Okada”, but we lost the elections and so that promise was not fulfilled. Our opponents objected to it claiming okada activities if operationalised will cause accidents.

“They instead promised to take your motorbikes and replace them with cars. Is that not what you were promised? Have you received the cars? It turned 419, we all know that this government is only good at telling lies.

“I stand at Ashaiman here, I know in all the 16 regions you have all your associations. There wouldn’t have been space if all okada riders were invited to Ashaiman, there would have been congestion. I would like to tell those of you present to inform all your unions in the regions that from Ashaiman, I want to declare that we have in our 2024 manifesto, that we will legalise okada business when we win the 2024 general elections.

“Know that the door of your freedom will be opened on January 7, 2025, when they swear me in as President.”

He also expressed concern over the country’s unemployment rate since he left office in 2016.

“The unemployment rate was 8.5% when I left office in 2016, now it’s 14.7% Under Akufo-Addo-Bawumia’s government. If you were not engaged in okada business, the over 1.7 million something engaged in okada, would have been part of the unemployed, if your business was abolished, the unemployment rate would have jumped higher to 25%.

“In East Africa, they have legalised it and they are working nicely. We can also legalise it, and regulate it in safety and security. When we assume power, we will legalise it. We have riding instructors, so the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) will go to the regions to train you on how to ride safely,” he assured.

He urged motorbike riders to comply with the rules that will be implemented under the next NDC government.

“I’m pleading with you when we legalise it, you have to follow the rules, the passenger is also paramount. We will also assist those who don’t have a license to get a license.”

Source: citinewsroom

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