Your Ad Here

Welcome To The New TRENDS

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Safety Tips You Should Always Remember When Boarding an "Okada"

Hmmmm, let me add this, me I do okada's, I love them when I have to hurry somewhere and there is traffic. No forming Okay. Wole Soyinka did Okada too. He used it to escape death from Abacha, he even used it during the lagos Carnival in 2010 to beat traffic. My father once used Okada on two occasions, his car broke down the first time and secondly he had an appointment for a big contract and there was heavy traffic, so he parked his car, pulled off his Agbada and jumped on an Okada (This is someone who is always shouting on me when I use Okada) and So weather you are poor, rich, young, old and you live in Nigeria, you might just find yourself doing okada for one reason or the other.

Okada refers to commercial motorcycles in Nigeria, where motorcycle riders carry passengers for hire. The name Okada is borrowed from the then popular Airline in Nigeria, Okada Air. A local airline that was not popular for its confort but remained the most used local airline in the country. The first group of motorcycle transporters were then given this name, okada because they could manoeuvre between the heavy traffic of Lagos and take you to your destiny in time, just as Okada Airline did. 

Because of the comic irony of this name being used for a cyclist and for the popularity of the airline, the name okada for the commercial motorcyclist was never to be forgotten and eventually became as popular as it is now. Many people do not even remember that there was any thing like Okada air any more.

Okada began to gain popularity in the late 80s when because of economic difficulties in the last years of the first decade of the Nigerian economic crunch, some jobless youths began to use this age-old transport system for commercial purposes, to transport some stranded but willing passengers through the narrow or bad roads to the far inaccessible parts of the cities or villages. 

It is one of the chief modes of transport in Nigeria and, by far, the most common form of informal transport system in that country. It is easily affordable for the common man and very flexible. Above all okada is readily available: one can hardly wait too long for an okada to come around, even in the remotest villages they appear at given intervals. There is no road too narrow or a place too remote for Okada. 

It became for the common man a welcome alternative to the sometimes short but often long walk to-and-fro home after a long journey or a days job - a short trekking under the sun (for example from a commercial car park where the passengers are picked or dropped collectively) that is more tedious and arduous than it looks. For these reasons okada became quickly beloved and did not take long to convince its critics and soon the fears or resentments of the early inception were dissolved into calculable risks that accompany all transportation. 

The popularity and widespread acceptance of okada has rapidly risen in recent years. It has become a regular means of transportation for the young and old, man or woman. Unfortunately, the rise of okada has been accompanied by increased levels of high-risk behaviour and accidents on Nigerian roads; as a result they have come under heavy flak culminating in legislations restricting or prohibiting their operations in some Nigerian cities.

Some safety Tips to know:

i. Only one passenger at a time. Not two or three like:

ii. Pregnant women should stay off Okada.

iii. Always caution your Okada driver.

iv. Don't do long distance on Okada.

v. Always wear a helmet. Not plastic bowl like in the picture below

VI. Never back babies on Okada.

VII. Never do Okada's in the night. Its a one way ticket to your maker.

VIII. Do not do Okada's on Major roads. i.e Express.

Some save Okada Pictures