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Letter To John Mahama On Legalizing Okada: It May Win You Votes But…

Former President John Mahama has already promised to legalize Okada if he is voted back to power but I think that’s just an absurd promise, considering the harm motor riders have been causing.

Why would a former president promise to legalize Okada, a death trap?

The countdown to the 2020 General Election has begun and in 95 days’ time, on the 7th December, Ghanaians will have the chance to either retain President Akufo Addo or choose another leader.

Former President John Mahama has already promised to legalize Okada if he is voted back to power but I think that’s just an absurd promise, considering the harm motor riders have been causing.

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I’ve witnessed several accidents, caused by Okada riders and it’s not a scene to watch. Former President Mahama promising Ghanaians that he’ll legalize Okada is just a way of saying, y’all are gonna die when I come to power.

Legalizing Okada is not a promise the former President should be making just because of his hunger for power. Definitely there are ways to fight unemployment in Ghana but legalizing Okada is not an option.

Considering the number of people we lose in accidents yearly, why would one think of legalization okada? Truly we Africans have always been shortsighted when it comes to development, instead of us to think about safety and security we want to politicize it.

Nigerians that are 20x larger in population than Ghana are even banning the use of Okada and even in some countries, you pay a fine for not wearing a seat belt as a passenger but here in Ghana, my beloved country, politicians planning to put citizens on the back of a bike all for power.

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Come to think of it, what changed from the camp of John Maham?

Former President Mahama introduced a law to ban Okada in 2012. During that period, I remember very well that Okada riders demonstrated against the law but nothing was done to review it then.

Any Ghanaian who knows this can tell the former president is just desperate to come back to power and at this point in time, Ghanaians do not need the legalization of okada because it has already done more harm than good.

Instead of legalizing okada,  why not we build subways?

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A rapid transit or mass rapid transit, also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn, or underground, a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas.

This will provide employment for the youth and also help reduce the number of vehicles on the road by providing a larger facility that carries a higher number of passengers thus eliminating congestion.

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I’ve seen the Akufo Addo government building railways in some parts of the country and I believe that’s commendable, looking at the traffic congestion in Ghana, most especially Accra, rapid transit or mass rapid transit will help develop this country.

In 2018, the Transport Ministry found that the proportion of motorcycle fatalities had increased from 2.7% in 2001 to 21% in 2016 as a result of the Okada business. Also, the National Road Safety Commission estimates that the chance of dying from a motorcycle crash is 10 times higher than a car crash.

In January 2020, the Ghana Medical Association called for a ban of Okada when they were reporting high accidents and fatalities at various hospitals. If we have all these facts glaringly staring at us, why do we still want to legalize the okada business?

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If it’s not desperation to come back to power, then I don’t know which another term to use for former President Joh Mahama’s promise to legalize the okada business if he is voted back to power come December 7th.

As a youth of this country who loves and wants the country to develop like other European countries, I wouldn’t opt for the legalization of a death trap and I believe former President Mahama should know better.

This is my humble opinion.

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