|Okada riders marching to the Presidency|
For over three hours, movement in the capital city Yaounde came to a standstill. It was preferable to trek than by car. Friday March 1, 2013 entered into the annals of history as the day thousands of commercial motorbike riders from the national territory staged a march in support of President Paul Biya. The “okada” riders as they are commonly known expressed their gratitude to the head of state for mentioning them in his last February speech to the youths. The 20th May Avenue in Yaounde to Carrefour du palaise (entrance to the Presidency) were received upon arrival by the Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh. Their messages to President could be seen on some of the placards they carried along with them. The most interesting thing is that the messages were written in some local dialects from the ten regions of Cameroon. The national President of commercial motorbike riders in Cameroon René Ntonefor K. Nguimo read a motion of support to President Biya in which the riders expressed their support to Biya for recognizing their efforts in facilitating the movement of people from one destination to another especially in enclaved areas with no roads. The commercial motorbike sector it should be recalled employs millions of Cameroonian youths ranging from university graduates to secondary and primary school drop-outs. These young men quite often are victimized by corrupted traffic police and Gendarmes. Notwithstanding, the commercial motorbike sector is also floated by thieves who snatch women handbags during late hours, aggresses passengers and some of them are suspected to have been involved in ritual killings in Yaounde. However, as the sector is gradually giving attention, and the riders are grouping themselves into professional groups, they will help the police to fish out the bad grains among them. Especially as President Biya in his speech instructed the Ministries of Youth Affairs and Vocational training to submit proposals to inprove the welfare of commercial motorbike riders, prospects are high.
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