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Mahama Criticizes Akufo-Addo Government’s Promise To Okada Riders As A “419 Promise”



Former President John Mahama has strongly criticized the Akufo-Addo administration for what he describes as a deceptive promise to okada (commercial motorbike) riders, referring to their pledge to replace motorbikes with cars as a “419 promise,” a term used locally to denote fraud.

Speaking to a gathering in Ashaiman, Mahama, the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), highlighted that during the last election campaign, his party proposed the legalization of the okada business, a commitment left unfulfilled due to their electoral defeat. “We have in our manifesto that we will legalize okada, but we lost the elections, and so, that promise was not fulfilled,” Mahama stated.

He recalled the opposition from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to this proposal, which argued that legalizing okada would increase accidents. Instead, the NPP promised to replace okada riders’ motorbikes with cars. “They instead promised to take your motorbikes and replace them with cars. Is that not what you were promised? Have you received the cars?” he asked the audience, who responded in the negative.

“It turned 419. We all know that this government is only good at telling lies,” Mahama asserted, expressing his skepticism about the current government’s integrity.

Mahama used the occasion to reaffirm his commitment to legalizing the okada business if elected in the 2024 general elections. He urged those present to relay this message to their associations across all 16 regions. “From Ashaiman, I want to declare that we have in our 2024 manifesto, that we will legalize okada business when we win the 2024 general elections.”

He further assured that the “door of freedom” would open for okada riders on January 7, 2025, the date he anticipates being sworn in as President. Mahama underscored the importance of the okada business in providing employment, noting that without it, the unemployment rate, which he claims has risen from 8.5% in 2016 to 14.7% under the Akufo-Addo administration, would be even higher. He estimated that the okada sector employs over 1.7 million people and argued that abolishing it would push the unemployment rate to 25%.

Citing international examples, Mahama pointed to East Africa, where commercial motorbike transportation is legalized and regulated effectively. He promised similar measures for Ghana, including safety and security regulations and training programs by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC).

Mahama concluded by urging okada riders to adhere to safety rules once legalization is in place and pledged support for those needing licenses. “I’m pleading with you: when we legalize it, you have to follow the rules; the passenger is also paramount. We will also assist those who don’t have a license to get one.”

Source: GhanaFeed.Com

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