Commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada riders, on Friday, protested the alleged extortion of its members by the executives of its association at Ibafo, Ogun State.
Ayuba Olaniran, the spokesman for the riders, said the extortion has become unbearable as the union executives collect N500 daily from its members in the area.
He said, “The union collects N500 from us every day. We do not know what they do with this money. We don’t have any welfare neither do they protect us from area boys, so why are they collecting the money?”
Olaniran also bemoaned the arrest of its members by policemen from the Ibafo Police Station over a protest by its members on Thursday.
“The Police (in Ibafo) arrested our members who protested yesterday and when we got there to secure their release, we were asked to pay N70,000.
“The union at Mowe, Magbaro and the other areas have stopped issuing tickets to Okada riders. We want an end to it too in Ibafo,” Olaniran said.
The spokesman said they want the release of their three colleagues in police custody unconditionally and an end to the levy.
Also speaking, Ahmed Ismail, a.k.a Small Awual, accused the police of conniving with the chairman of the Okada riders association, Bale Folurunsho, to make life unbearable for the riders in the area.
He said, “Bale and the policemen in Ibafo have agreed to torment Okada riders. They seize our bikes and arrest us over the non-payment of the levy. And when that happens, we pay N10,000 to get our bikes back.
“We have begged them to release our colleagues in detention but they said we should bring N70,000.
“Our chairman said our ordeal is not his business. We have contributed to paying for their release but they have not released our colleagues.
“We want people to help us.”