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Lagos may slam total ban on Okada across the state

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso has announced the intention of the state government to impose a blanket ban on the activities of commercial motorcycles, popularly known asa Okada across the state’s local governments.

Mr. Omotoso made this known on Tuesday while speaking at a stakeholder’s forum organised to review the ban on commercial motorcycles in parts of the state.

Omotosho said that with the results of the ban on their activities in 6 local government areas in the state, Lagos residents had been calling on the state government to expand the ban to other areas.

He said, “Some people have suggested that the ban should be state-wide, considering the present anxiety over security.’’

The commissioner pointed out that the idea behind the forum is for stakeholders to take stock of the government decision on the ban and agree on the next step to take.

He recalled that some people were initially critical of the ban because they had not witnessed the havoc some of the Okada riders caused in the areas of health and security.

He said, “Residents were being robbed of their belongings by robbers who used motorcycles to flee scenes of crimes.

“Our public hospitals were being filled with victims of Okada accidents, doctors had their hands full at Emergency wards, and hoodlums who rode unregistered motorbikes posed great security risks.”

The commissioner said all stakeholders now have the opportunity to make suggestions on what steps the government should take on the matter.

Speaking at the occasion, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde said that the ban had recorded significant successes and compliance adding that in the affected areas within the period under review, available records’ showed that crime and accidents had reduced drastically.

He said, “In the affected areas within the period under review, available records’ show that crime and accident rate reduced astronomically by 86 per cent and 63.7 per cent, respectively.

“While a total of 7,500 motorcycles were impounded and crushed accordingly.’’

He said that the rise in the level of insecurity nationwide has made it imperative to review the impact of the ban on motorcycles in parts of the state and further steps to protect the people.

He noted, “The Federal Government is presently considering the total ban of motorcycle operations across the federation as most of these underground activities are been enhanced with the use of motorcycles.

“Also, the attention of the state government has been drawn to the security threat parading the news across all socio-media platforms that some unscrupulous individuals are planning to attack the state.’’

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had on May 18, 2022, announced a total ban on commercial motorcycle operators in 6 local government areas in the state.

This came barely 2 days after a task force in the state embarked on a serious clampdown of Okada riders on the Lekki axis in a move that appears to be connected to the outrage that greeted the killing and burning of a young man, simply identified as David by suspected motorcyclists in the Admiralty area of Lekki, Lagos.

The affected local government listed by the governor includes Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa.

The new directive from the governor appears to be a follow-up to the February 2020 restriction placed on the activities of these commercial motorcyclists in these areas.

Also earlier in June, the Lagos State Government inaugurated Anti-Okada Squad to further enforce the clampdown on commercial motorcyclists in the state which is in line with the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018

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