The former president made the declaration when he played host to members of the National Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association, NACTOMORAS, in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.
Stressing that ‘Okada’ and ‘Keke’ has come to stay in Nigeria, he described their existence in the country’s transportation system as an economic necessity, which has come to stay.
According to Obasanjo,“As for me now, I don’t belong to any political party and I will not belong to any political party. The only thing that is of concern to me is the greatness of Nigeria. But let me tell you that I am always available to you for pieces of advice just as I promise to talk to you the way I would talk to my own children.
“You should be rest assured that I will advise you honestly and sincerely. You know that I am not usually afraid to tell anyone off, you know I am not afraid to do so. Let me also advise you against drunkenness and drug. Don’t get involved in them, because most of the accidents on our roads have been traced to abuse of drug and drunkenness among drivers.
“Before the existence of your organisation, what we knew in Nigeria were taxi drivers. But because of hard economic situation in the military government days, Keke NAPEP came in. I even mandated and made provision for Keke NAPEP all over the country, because where ever we may be, we need a means of transportation.
“As our population increases, so much more efforts will be needed to move people from one place to the other as our urban areas multiply so much that we need to move people from urban and sub-urban areas.
“Let me tell you that the two and the three wheelers means of transportation will continue to be relevant in the country because of the situation we find ourselves.”
Advising the transporters not to allow politicians use them to achieve their aims, Obasanjo said, “If you want me to always be proud of you as members, you must always be organized, decent and disciplined among other members of the society as well as be law abiding.
“Don’t let anyone misuse you as an organisation as a stepping stone to become candidate of this party and the other. I am not saying you can’t join any political party of your choice as an individual, but not as a group.”
Obasanjo had in February 2015 dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, after he publicly tore his membership card.