How to run away from Boda Boda Riders in Nairobi.
Motorbike riders often operate at places called “stage” this “stage” means a physical location from which they carry out activities of ferrying passengers.
Now, this “stage” has members, a small group of riders who operate from that location. These locations are spread out within the CBD, estates, and all over the country. The motorbike riders are popularly known as Boda Boda riders.
So, if someone mentions the name Boda Boda, or Boda or a variation of that name, we are bound to understand that it’s a motorbike taxi.
These various locations have their own members who operate from that “stage”. Riders are made up of 99% men. This statistic is only meant to show who operates most Boda Bodas.
Whenever a bodaboda issue comes up, you may probably think of efficiency and convenience. It's true that they have added to faster movement of passengers and goods as per needs.
What we often discuss once in a while is the mayhem this industry has caused, is capable of, and has evolved into.
Now, whenever a group of men congregates for a specific purpose, they usually cannot help but form a gang. This gang is distinct from other types of gangs formed for theft and illicit purposes. They are however similar in reinforcing a set of rules and procedures.
How long you last in this sort of order depends on how you follow these rules for your wellbeing.
Everyone follows these rules, they are not written down but you quickly understand them after a few days to weeks of operation. They are meant to keep the “stage” operating smoothly and to solve issues among riders.
They are also reinforced to bring about group order. They further are used to protect riders at a particular location and the whole group of bodaboda brothers who operate within the location.
This is why when something bad happens to one, the riders closest to them come to help. Often reinforcements are called depending on the gravity of the matter at hand.
At all times, other riders passing nearby will want to be part of solving such issues.
A lot of motorists have suffered at the hands of these motorbike gangs. Property has been damaged, other vehicle’s torched, people have been beaten up and others lynched.
Before you start shouting that not all riders are like that, please note that a group of men, operating towards a purpose always operate as a gang. The gang here does not head towards a criminal enterprise but is willing and ready to inflict harm to help one of their own or get some form of justice.
Now, this isn’t to continuously complain about riders but to offer a solution that will help security services keep up with this threat.
It is a THREAT because whenever anyone hits a bodaboda rider, it takes a few seconds before a multitude of the riders arrives at that location.
Now, in whatever way you may try to reason out with the rider who was involved, it will not work. The more you try to either explain or lay blame and repeat the story more than enough times for every new rider who stops won't do you good.
In fact, you will appear to be in the wrong at all times.
Then again, crowds don’t think, that’s why whenever a group of people gathers, crowd psychology takes over. The riders will 100% think and know that the driver is wrong, then again other stories not part of whatever has happened will be thrown into the general story.
An example is someone at the back shouting “…. na hawa dereva wametuzoea sana…”
Now imagine the sort of harm that single statement will cause. That’s incitement taken to level 100, because, all riders gathered at the location will agree with that statement.
Almost all riders will twist the original occurrences to suit their current mood, so at least 95% of riders gathered will get a juicier twisted wrong version of the story.
Now you can see how facts may be twisted because of how fast riders arrive to form a big crowd, how your explaining of who may be on the wrong only makes you questionable.
How they are there to defend one of their own. Most of the car drivers will only pass by and leave you to the mercy of the riders.
Then again, no policeman on patrol usually arrives fast enough to sort the issue before it escalates to a point of no return.
We all agree that police on patrol are the slowest to arrive. And when they do, they will have to start shooting around in the air to prevent harm from being done.
Again if they manage to disperse the crowd, who will be held responsible for any damage caused on vehicles or property? As in the case of riders, they normally constitute 98% of the property and vehicle destruction at such accident scenes. And they usually get away with it.
It's harder to track them or catch up with them easily dues to their mobility. Sure enough, the police can trace the phones on location, but we all know that’s a futile and expensive process that is normally not followed through.
That’s why we need to introduce police units on bikes, whole squads dedicated to this bodaboda mayhem. To beat them at their game, police motorbike units, and not those traffic bikes, need to be formed and put on patrol around town and to the outskirts of town to complement units on foot patrol.
If this is done, it's easy to send a unit instantly to the location of bodaboda skirmishes and reinforce a unit for the purposes of making arrests or follow-ups of who is in the wrong to make them pay for such offenses.
It's easier for a cop trained in motorbike policing to arrest such riders who cause harm. If a whole police unit of 25 cops arrived at the accident location within 5 to 10 minutes, no situation would escalate into destruction or maiming of people involved.
And if that were to happen, police units would be well equipped with speed to arrest riders who would ultimately pay the price. It doesn’t make sense how current patrols are structured.
They have been left out of the changes that society has brought forth. Sending a lorry of police to a location in town is too slow and will arrive after the destruction has been done and riders have dispersed.
Mobile rider police units will however solve such issues fast and efficiently. They will also be able to arrest riders at the spot of the congregation and charge them for such property damage.
This will act as a deterrence for them ganging up on other motorists whether the motorists or the riders are on the wrong.