By Uche Amunike
The Anambra State Government has no plans to restrict the operations of commercial motorcycles in Nnewi. This fact was stated in Awka by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba, while addressing newsmen.
'There is no iota of truth in the rumours making the rounds that the government plans to ban okada, as commercial motorcycles are popularly called in Nigeria. The rumours are politically motivated,' he said, adding that the state government had always made it clear that Nnewi Town would not be affected when the restriction order on the use of commercial motorcycles in Onitsha, the state commercial capital, and Awka, the administrative capital, was made, mid last year.
Mr Adinuba revealed that the rumours of the ban were started by a couple of politically exposed persons participating in the ongoing general elections in the country and advised politicians to always tell their followers the truth rather than mislead them with all manner of propaganda.
The commissioner noted that only societies which treated facts as sacred developed rapidly while those run on false propaganda experienced tremendous developmental challenges.
He explained that Anambra State had experienced unprecedented development in the last four years because of the government's commitment to the truth and issues which benefited the people generally.
'Working for the common good should be an article of faith for political leaders rather than the private gains they make for the moment which will ultimately hurt society,' Mr Adinuba said, remarking that the state government recognized that the motorcycle business had a special place in Nnewi's astronomical development in the last few decades. He said the state government was proud that Nnewi was the headquarters of the motorcycle business in Nigeria.
According to Fides findings, for decades, almost every motorcycle imported into the country had passed through Nnewi, even when there were practically no infrastructural facilities like well tarred roads. How the Nnewi people, including non-indigenes, were able to perform this miracle with no government support has baffled researchers, scholars and students. Nnewi represents to a large extent, the typical Igbo spirit, as seen in their stubborn determination to succeed in spite of all odds.
Mr Adinuba stated that Governor Willie Obiano had always admired the Nnewi people and their leaders for their ingenuity and advised other Nigerians to understudy their industry and great capacity for innovation as part of the process for Nigeria's rapid economic transformation.