Okada Riders Look Up To Dampare As Bribe Sucking Police Officers destroy Delivery Business

Even as he readies to take up his appointment as the newly appointed Inspector General of Police, CoP, Dr. Dampare Akufo has had his work cut out for him as he is tasked to tackle the daily harassment of delivery motor riders by unscrupulous police officers on the roads.

“We would be forced to take the laws into our own hands if the new IGP fails to restrain his men from depriving us of our daily bread”, fumes Felix Jayden Amoah, a frustrated young entrepreneur who leads several groups of commercial delivery motorbikers, popularly known as Okada.

Felix Jayden Amoah, a University graduate who has managed to set up a courier service company, Commerce First Delivery Services, tells WhatsUp News that the daily extortions that his riders face are threatening the very foundation of his company which employs fifteen Ghanaian youth, including some University graduates.

“Imagine owning say eight motorcycles and having to pay Ghc200 in order to have each of your riders released by the Police every day simply because they have been arrested for no justifiable reason. How does a small company survive?” he lamented in a phone interview.

According to him, motor riders are arrested for all sorts of reasons, from not wearing jackets to revving their motorcycles backward so that they can negotiate curves.

“It’s as if motor riding is a crime in Ghana now,” said Mr. Amoah who is also a member of an association of courier delivery company owners called Ghana Delivery Company. 

His lament comes in the wake of a rider losing his life after a Police officer tripped his bike and caused him to collapse on a highway at Taifa.

 Following the crash, a car run over the biker in a gory accident.
An angry crowd that nearly lynched the Police officer has been captured in a video that has gone viral on social media.

According to Mr. Jayden Amoah, the terror of extortion against motor riders started at the beginning of the year.

In their operations, the Police deliberately stop riders and scrutinize them for everything – licenses, roadworthy, registration. “If they realize you have everything, then they start demanding things like where is your nose mask. If you fail to produce a nose mask, they drag you to the Police station.],” Mr. Amoah revealed.

According to him, the extortion is worst in hotspots like Tudu, Kasoa Amanfrom, Sowutuom, Nungua and Achimota. 

“The situation has led to riders developing a fear for Police officers,” Mr. Jayden Amoah said.
He believes that the Taifa incident which led to the death of the motor rider probably was the result of the rider fleeing from the officer out of fear.
He calls on the new IGP, Akuffo Danpare, to do something about the situation. “Or if motor riding is now illegal in Ghana, they should let us know so that we close shop and let our employees go home and demand jobs from government,” he fumed.

“I completed school in 2016, found that there were no jobs, and decided to start this company which now employs fifteen other people. Is that a crime in Ghana now?” he asks.

A motor rider of any category can be milked of between Ghc100 and Ghc200 per arrest. And the range of motor riders do not only include commercial transporters known as Okada riders but courier and delivery service riders as well.

The government’s ban on the Okada provides a fine cover for the bribe-taking Police officers to lump all motor riders together and terrorize them for bribes
But the consequences of the new extortions on the road are that it is collapsing fine entrepreneurial efforts by young and enterprising Ghanaians who have found a niche for themselves in the motor transport business.

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