From Francis Nansak,Lafia
Residents of Karu and Lafia local government areas of Nasarawa state have raised an alarm over what they termed as a deliberate act of recklessness on the part of some Okada and tricyclists riders who failed to keep to road traffic regulations.
They alleged that the daily influx of these categories of road users arose from the stand of the FCT administration, which chased them out of Abuja and they resorted to settling in Karu , down to Lafia, the state capital.
However, residents said while it would have been a welcome development, it has rather became a threat to commuters in the area.
Noting the scarce transportation system in the state and the venture being a source of survival to the riders, they lamented that it has instead maim and killed many people within the space of time, occasioned from road accidents that were caused by the recklessness of the riders.
In Karu, even though the council Chairman Mr Samuel Akala went on an advocacy visit to the headquarters of the FRSC last week, it was alleged that the Okada and tricycle riders have remained adamant by riding on the highways ,as if they are dragging the road with heavy duty trucks and commercial vehicles, at the risk of those who engaged their services.
A resident of Karu, Mr Kester Louis, who complained bitterly, said the way and manner the Keke NAPEP riders go about their businesses on the highway is disturbing.
He said “The danger that it poises is that most vehicles on the highway are either trucks or those on inter states journeys.
“Worst of all is that most of the riders were at a point, pure water sellers, who had no previous training but simply started the Okada riding because their friends were seen by them as faring better economically. They lack the requisite training; don’t know traffic laws and fear nothing,” he added.
“This is what we see on a daily basis here in Karu, because the government allows it. But people have died due to the recklessness of these set of business,” Kester lamented.
Another concerned resident ,Dr Ugwu Cosmas, who also reacted separately, said the Okada riders and their keke counterparts, have, instead of contributing to society needs, created a vacuum in many homes, where love ones were maim and killed on the highway.
According to him the activities of these transporters especially within the corridors of the FCT, in Karu local government area,plying the highway is rather unfortunate.
He wants government to regulate their excesses by immediately by taking a position, either to scrap them or ban them on the highway.
While in Lafia, the state capital, residents lament over indiscriminate parks and roadside trading activities, nothing that majority of the boys riding the Okada are under age with no formal training, as they willingly beat traffic, thereby causing road accident.