By Emmanuel Akli
Dear reader, do you know that you will be putting your life at risk if you sit as a pillion rider on a commercial motorbike, popularly known as Okada, a name that was borrowed from Nigeria? Well, if you did not know, The Chronicle is informing you today that armed robbers are now masquerading as Okada riders and you could lose your life if you think that is the only means of transport you can afford.
A reporter of this paper went through a hell of time on Wednesday, this week, when an Okada rider he hired to transport him to the office, in his attempt to beat traffic and also meet the deadline for the submission of his story, attempted to seize a bag he had strapped at his back, which also contained his laptop computer.
According to the reporter, he hired the motorbike rider from the Accra International Conference Centre, which is opposite Parliament House to take him to The Chronicle office at Tesano.
He said when they got to Ridge Roundabout, he realised that the rider had slowed down and he enquired from him whether he had run out of fuel, but he did not give him any reasonable answer.
The reporter further said he saw the rider moving his hand around his abdomen area, but he thought he was rubbing the skin with his nails to relieve itching. However, all of the sudden, he saw that the middle aged man had stopped the bike, removed a knife and placed it at his (reporter) ribs, threatening to kill him if he did not hand over his bag to him (rider).
“The whole thing looked like a movie to me, because I never anticipated that from the rider”, he said.
According to him, though a lot of people were passing by them, they did not realise that he was being robbed.
He (reporter) also could not shout because his assailant was gradually pushing the knife through his dress and onto his flesh.
According to him, as he was removing the bag from his back with difficulty, a man who later identified himself as a National Security operative, saw what was going on and from the blind side of his assailant, signaled him from a distant not to hand over the bag.
The man then took brisk steps to the crime scene, pulled a gun and ordered the Okada rider to get down and surrender.
Before doing that, he said the National Security Operative took his Identity Card from his pocket and showed it to him (reporter) and the Okada rider, which indeed identified him as a national security man.
The reporter said in his presence, the national security operative called his headquarters and a van quickly drove to the scene to pick the suspect away.
He then took a taxi, which drove him to the office. The reporter, who was traumatised by the incident reported to work yesterday but sought permission to go home, a request which was not turned down.