Some motorcycle transporters popularly known as ‘okada’ have complained of deliberate arrest and extortion by the police for crimes they have not committed.
According to a section of the riders the GNA spoke to on Wednesday, these policemen use different kinds of charges against them just to extort money from them even though they have not committed any crime.
Eugene Ibusay, an okada operator, said some policemen now board ‘trotro’ buses to carry out their operations to take them by surprise and arrest us.
‘They think we well run away when we see them in their police cars so now they join trotro buses and when they see us parked or about to pick a passenger then they get down from the bus and arrest us’
Eugene said they only ask for their licenses ‘and when you provide it, they still try to find fault with you and arrest you at all cost, unless u pay up before you are allowed to go’.
He said ‘sometimes too our customers put us in trouble by refusing to wear the helmet and when the police sees us they arrest us and the customers walk away free’
He said some of the customers claim the helmets are not cleaned and will give them infections.
Prosper Kpabi, also an Okada operator said, some pedestrians cross the road without being mindful of motorcycles, leading to knock downs, but the public rather blame them for such accidents and accuse them of reckless riding.
He said because of the perception that people have about okada riders, any knockdown is blamed on them ‘but sometimes it’s not our fault, I blame the pedestrian who carelessly crosses the road.
Prosper said any minor accident is blamed on them whether It’s their fault or not, ‘and this general perception about us lands us at the police station all the time, which affects our business’.
Alfred Nkrumah urged that their operations be legalised so that they can pay taxes daily to enable them to operate freely and also prevent the police from extorting money from them.
By Desmond O.Nyarko/Philip Mensah, GNA