Four persons were killed along Bauchi road and Bukuru in Jos, the Plateau State capital, yesterday as security operatives moved to enforce the law banning commercial motorcycle operations, popularly called ‘okada’ in the state. The security operatives also impounded the motorcycles of defiant okada riders.
LEADERSHIP gathered that about two persons were killed at the volatile Bauchi road area of the state while two others persons were killed in Bukuru, another troubled area in the state.
No fewer than 150 motorcycles were impounded on the streets of Jos and Bukuru metropolis as security agents tried to disperse okada riders who defied the government ban in the state.
The okada riders had as early as 7am taken to the streets of Bukuru and Jos, daring security agents that were deployed to the streets to enforce the ban.
LEADERSHIP recalls that since Monday when the ban was announced, okada riders had signified their intention to continue with their business, just as they had done during the previous ban.
LEADERSHIP gathered that their action turned bloody in Bukuru, which culminated in the police killing two more of the operators. This angered some of the Muslim youths who regrouped for a reprisal. However the Christian youths in the area also gathered to counter them.
This created a tense situation in the area as men of the Special task Force (STF) were called to restore order, who started shooting into the air to scare off the irate youths. Their action created pandemonium as traders quickly closed their shops and parents rushed to schools to evacuate their children.
Police Public Relations Officer Plateau State Command, ASP Emmanuel Abuh, told our correspondent that he was yet to confirm the Bukuru incident. He however said that the police recorded about 80 per cent compliance to the order.