The ban on commercial motorcycle operations also known as okada or inaga by some state governments across the country has created another form of unemployment and migration among the operators of the business especially from the Northern side of the country. For over six years the ban became effective in Imo State capital city Owerri, many Hausa Fulani operators have been moving into the inner towns and villages across the state in order to continue their business.
Last week, an Umuaka Times reporter while coming from Owerri observed some Fulani okada operators in the Akwa Akuma axis of Owerri. The same observation was also established at the Nwaorieubi area in Mbaitoli LGA. The reporter tried to ask some Igbo operators of the business if the boys he saw were really Hausa and Fulani boys. Those who volunteered to speak with the reporter confirmed that Hausa and Fulani people were among the operators of the business in the area. According to them, many houses in Imo State are guided by the Fulani boys and some of them have gone home to their states and brought their brothers and relations for settlement in the South Eastern part of the country. Some of these new entrants of Hausa and Fulani origin have searched for security jobs but could not find any. Some of them who have motorcycles and small savings,, then decided to go into commercial motorcycle operations.
Umuaka Times learnt that as far as these okada riders can live and do business in Nwaorieubi, it is a question of a short period of time, they will shift base to Umuaka. Considering the business viability, population and the centralization of Umuaka in Orlu Zone, Umuaka will play host to this new group of okada riders lucratively for them.
Some Akalites who spoke to Umuaka Times on thi development last week, nursed fears that it would be only a question of time, Fulani okada riders will flood Umuaka.