COMMERCIAL motorcyclists, popularly known as okada riders, on Monday embarked on a violent protest over the confiscation of motorcycles by Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO).
The incident occurred along the Airport Road in Abuja.
The protest by the irate okada riders disrupted traffic on the road and led to tension among motorists and residents in the area.
The okada riders wielded sticks and burnt tyres along the road as they stoned commuters and vehicles along the expressway.
Videos of the incident, which circulated across social media platforms, were tagged in some posts as jihadist insurgency.
However, as of the time of filing this report, the FCT Police Command said it has restored calm in the area.
A statement released by Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Command Josephine Adeh noted that the unrest followed the confiscation of motorcycles due to some violations by the okada riders.
“The incident which soon attracted many false narratives was merely an uncultured display of dissatisfaction by commercial motorcycle riders popularly called okada who took to the streets burning tires and other substances following the activities of the Task Force who had earlier confiscated some motorcycles for certain violations.
“Upon the receipt of the information, Police Operatives from Iddo Divisional Police Headquarters were swiftly drafted to the scene where necessary measures were taken to restore peace and normalcy to the situation,” the statement said.
Noting that efforts were ongoing to arrest those responsible for the unrest, the statement said residents should desist from spreading false narratives concerning the incident.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Babaji Sunday psc while reassuring the residents of the Command’s unflinching commitment to bringing crime and criminality to the barest minimum, noted that the burning of combustible material on tarred road amounts to the vandalization of government properties and the full wrath of the law will be meted out on erring person(s),” the statement added.