NDC Member of Parliament for Tamale North Constituency in the Northern Region, Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini has said if President Akufo-Addo can legalise some uses of weed, then his party’s flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama can equally legalise the use of commercial motorcycles known as Okada.
Replying critics of his party’s campaign promise to legalise Okada, Alhassan Suhuyini told Blessed Sogah on the State of the Nation on Class91.3FM, Wednesday, 9 September 2020 that: “they should not forget that only a few months ago in this country, all aspects of weed, ganja, was not legal.
“This government, the NPP government, led by Nana Akufo-Addo, has made some aspects of weed, ganja legal, some types of ganja have been made legal under Nana Addo, ganja ooh, ganja. Why are we confident that we can regulate the use of the ganja that we have legalised, but we think that we can’t regulate the use of Okada?”
According to Alhassan Suhuyini, Okada “is a business creation module, so if people are required to be trained and licensed, a smart business person because it is now legal, can open a training school and train them and certify them and the insurance companies will make money because they will insure the riders, they will insure the motorbikes so it opens a door for many other businesses to come out of it.”
Critics have also argued that the National Road Safety Commission reports attributing the increase in road fatalities to Okada business gives grounds for successive governments to tread cautiously in regularising their activities but the lawmaker said: “This is one area that we have spent time on, engaged the riders, and sometimes it is misconstrued as if every accident on the street involving a motorbike rider is the fault of the motorbike rider.
“I ride because I come from a constituency where we ride and I have seen accidents happen where it was never the fault of the motorbike rider, but in some cases either the road user. The road user, someone walking by who walked into the motorbike rider or a car that hits the motorbike rider after jumping a red light.
“So, the motorbike rider may be disciplined, obey all the regulations, but still get hit by a reckless driver. Because of that, do we say that we should not license driving because a driver causes accidents and kills people? How many people die on our roads yearly as a result of car crashes, do we use that as a basis to illegalise or to make driving illegal?