THERE was protest by okada riders in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Saturday, following the death of an unidentified commercial motorcyclist, who was allegedly killed by a policeman over his refusal to give him tip.
The incident, which occured at the front of a police station around Bishop Philip Academy, Iwo-Road area of Ibadan, resulted in chaos which escalated to major areas of the city, as okada riders resorted to burning of tyres on the road, a development which led to stoppage of human and vehicular movement for hours.
An eyewitness, who craved anonymity while speaking with Sunday Tribune, said it has been a usual practice by the men of The Nigeria Police to position themselves at the front of the police station and start collecting money from commercial motorcyclists who ply the road.
Speaking on the incident, Chairman, Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle Owners, Repairs And Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN), Oyo State chapter, Alhaji Saheed Folahanmi, told Sunday Tribune that though he sympathised with the family of the deceased, but the late okada rider was not a member of ACOMORAN.
He noted that the deceased and those who protested his killing were members of the free rider and the proscribed NURTW in the state.
It took the intervention of the men of the Operation Burst, a special security outfit set up by the Oyo State government, to return normalcy to the affected areas.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer, Oyo State Police Command, Lawrence Fadeyi told Sunday Tribune that:”The situation is under control, but I have not been properly briefed about the situation.
“Because of the uproar, the police have been seriously trying to make sure they curtail all the situations there. So, I have not gotten the details.”