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John Mahama has assured the Okada Riders Association that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) 2024 manifesto will outline his promise to legalise commercial motorbike operations, also known as ‘okada’, in Ghana.

He made this pledge at an association durbar with the NDC flag bearer in Ashaiman near Tema. Mahama assured Okada riders and owners that they would be liberated in 2025, allowing them to conduct their businesses legally, insure their bikes, and get licensed to ride without fear of police harassment.

Mahama reminded the riders of President Akufo-Addo and Mahamadu Bawumia’s false 2020 promise to replace their motorbikes with cars.

“In 2020, after I announced our plans, the government deceived Okada riders into thinking they would be given cars to replace their bikes. It was just another 419. This government is just a lying government”, he stated.

The former president also highlighted the importance of the Okada business in providing employment, stating that unemployment would have been much higher if not for the Okada industry.

“The increase in the unemployment rate to 14.7% would have been worse if not for the Okada business, as those now employed by Okada would have pushed the rate to 25%.”

He emphasised the importance of legalising and regulating the Okada business for safety and security.

The former President promised to ensure that the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) uses riding instructors to train Okada riders on safe riding practices. He also stressed the need for riders to respect traffic laws and regulations, including wearing reflectors for visibility, especially at night.

Mahama announced plans to simplify commercial bike licensing and provide electric motorbikes to operators through a hire-purchase system.

He called on the Okada Riders Association to collaborate with the police to ensure criminal activities involving bikers are weeded out.

He urged drivers to recognise motor riders as co-users of the road to ensure the safety of riders and passengers.

The NDC leader emphasised the importance of collaboration between all stakeholders to ensure that the legalisation of okada benefits society, improves living standards, and respects traffic laws.