Commercial motorcycle operators, popularly called Okada, Tuesday protested against alleged extortion and harassment from law enforcement agents in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.
Aside blocking some major roads and busy junctions to register their grievance, the Okada riders also took their protest to the Government House, Ilorin as well as the state police headquarters.
They complained of constant extortion and harassment by law enforcement agents while carrying out their legitimate business, and displayed placards with the message of ‘enough is enough’.
Their leaders could not be located or identified among the protesters, but one of them, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in Hausa language, condemned what he described as illegal extortion by the law enforcement agents, claiming that they always parted with thousands of naira each time they were arrested for flimsy traffic offences.
“They impose different kinds of charges including gate fees when we are arrested for traffic offences,” he added.
Reacting to the protest, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi, who spoke to DAILY POST, on phone, frowned at the conduct of the Okada operators, saying “they don’t need to destroy public property while carrying out their protest”.
He denied the alleged extortion but confirmed that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Kayode Egbetokun has ordered an investigation into their allegations.
Okasanmi however advised them to “protest with maturity since they have passed their message to the public and the concerned authorities, rather than creating confusion in the state capital”.