Over 36,000 motorbikes in Douala (90 per cent of the total), be them commercial or private, are without number plates. Since they ply the road unidentified, it does not only pose great danger to the population, but contributes to the already worrying urban disorder that prevails in the economic capital.
To curb the prevailing situation, the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, for Wouri, Naseri Paul Bea, last January launched a registration exercise, giving up to March 1, 2016, for motorbike owners to comply. Unfortunately, during an evaluation visit to the Douala I, II, III and V council areas on March 1, it was discovered that the exercise was still timid. According to statistics as at the day of visit, Douala V had not started the exercise, very few motorbikes were registered in Douala I and II, while Douala III registered an encouraging number of 210 motorbikes.
After the visit, Naseri Paul Bea expressed his discontentment and gave 30 more days for rigorous checks and repressive measures to be taken. “I am not satisfied with the outcome of the evaluation. I call on all proprietors, motorbike unions and associations to go to their various council areas and register in order to avoid the rigorous checks beginning on April 1, 2016,” he reiterated.
It is only during the repressive phase that most bike riders will know the importance of identification. Since an unidentified bike is likened to a child without a birth certificate, the SDO encouraged owners to get their bikes registered. On her part, the Divisional Delegate of Transport for Wouri, Marie Delphine Nfong-Yette, said identification will curb crime wave since perpetrators will easily be identified through their number plates.