Southwest and Ogun State Chairman of the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN) popularly known as Okada Riders, Alhaji Samusideen Apelogun has declared that motorcycle riders are professionals rather being touts.
He made the declaration while delivering a speech at the maiden edition of ACOMORAN Day in Abeokuta, the state capital. Apelogun maintained that it was high time Nigerians stopped referring to Okada riders as touts as most Okada riders are proud of the job because there is dignity of labour.
He said, “Let me use this opportunity to call on the elites, the commuters and government at all levels, to stop seeing us as touts. We are professionals in our own right. This is our chosen career and we are proud of it because there is dignity in Labour’’.
The ACOMORAN chieftain also thanked Nigerians for the support and trust they have in Okada riders, saying“we appreciate you (Nigerians) because you always allow us to temporarily take charge of your life when you ask us to take you from one destination to another’’.
The Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association Nigeria (ACOMORAN) popularly known as Okada Riders had their first of its kind ACOMORAN Day which was packaged with a seminar to educate their members and also to create the synergy with stakeholders in the transportation sectors in Ogun State.
The seminar which was tagged ‘Building Capacity in the Transportation Sector: Panacea for Economic Downturn. (A Study of Commercial Motorcycling) had in attendance stakeholders from different sectors of the economy which included the National President of ACOMORAN Alhaji Sheu Maihula Babandiga, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto/DAG Motorcycle, Mr. Monish Lakhani ,Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Suraj Adekunbi, State Commissioner of Police Alhaji Abdul-Majid Ali, Honourable Kunle Akinlade, Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi, Chief Muyiwa Oladipo, Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, The Olu Of Itori-Land Oba Abdul-Fatai Akorede Akamo, Mrs Adebutu Kesington, and others.
The ACOMORAN boss who is fondly referred to as “Allrounder” also appealed to government on the ban placed on commercial motorcyclists on major roads in the nation saying that the move may further add to the security threat the country is currently facing. “Banning activities in any form of any sector of the economy without adequate alternative will further add to the suffering of the people and impose more security threat”, Apelogun reasoned.
He however suggested that “the government and stakeholders of those states should strengthen the commercial motorcycling sector and see how best they can contribute to the purse of the state.”
Apelogun disclosed that the body has enjoyed a cordial relationship with the state house of assembly and the Internal Revenue Service.
National President of ACOMORAN, Alhaji Sheu Maihula while addressing the gathering praised Apelogun for the relentless effort he has invested in orchestrating the transformation and development of the association in the Gateway State.
He explained furthered that Ogun State is a special child of ACOMORAN at the National level and they are so proud of Apelogun because they see him as an exemplary leader who is practicing an all-inclusive and progress-minded government. Maihula also thanked the State Government under the leadership of Senator Ibikunle Amosun and the State House of Assembly for their continued support of the Association in Ogun State.
The event was supported by DAG Motorcycle Industry Nigeria Limited and the managing director, Mr. Lakhani donated the sum of 10Million Naira in support of the ‘UPLIFTing Programme’ which is the Pet Project of Dr. Mrs Olufunso Amosun the First Lady of Ogun State. Members of ACOMORAN also won various prizes such as Tricycles, Motorcycles and some spare parts.
Photo Credits: Adedotun M. Adegoke (DohaFotoXpression) for PublicFaces Magazine