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Okada ban: Lagosians hail Sanwo-Olu



Some Lagosians, on Tuesday, commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s courage in banning commercial motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles (Keke) in some local governments, highways and bridges in the state.

The Lagos State Government, on Monday, announced the restriction and ban of commercial motorcycles and tricycles in six Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state with effect from February 1.

The residents said that it was better to be unemployed than to die or remain permanently incapacitated.

Mr Williams Dada, an Auditor in a private firm, who commended the courage of the governor, however, expressed fear that high-handedness of some law enforcement agents could bring pains to the operators.

Dada, also a Cleric, urged operators of commercial motorcycles and tricycles to heed the law.

He advised the law enforcement agents to implement the law with human face.

He said: “The ban and restriction are good for the state. It is only in Lagos, out of the major cities that you see Okada riding in the metropolis and condoning all sorts of their excesses.

“Though, I don’t think the government is sincere about it because when electioneering comes now, you won’t hear things like this. These operators are veritable tools in the hands of the politicians.

“Looking at the rate of Okada accidents and fatalities, one will not oppose this move. Go to hospitals and see.

“If we tolerate because of the unemployment rate, it is better to be unemployed than to die.

“My fear is that most of the law enforcement agents will take the advantage to enrich themselves and inflict pains on the operators. Government should see to this while implementing the law.”

A Legal Practitioner, Mr Wale Akande, who also commended the government for being courageous to implement the law, said that the enforcement of the law would not only enhance safety but also foster a more organised society.

“The laws have been there unimplemented because of the gains the government derive from operators, especially during elections.

“I think it is a good step if the government is now ready to damn the consequence.

“We cannot continue to waste the human capital of the nation in Okada accidents. No, not for any reason including unemployment.

“Those who live on Okada and Keke should limit their operations to the area allowed by the law,” Akande said.

In his view, Mr Olanrewaju Dunmiju, a Screen Painter, said that the ban and restriction were laudable because it would save a lot of lives.

Dunmiju, who urged the government to intensify efforts at creating enabling environment for businesses and artistic works to thrive, said that many who engaged in Okada had been trained in one field or the other.

“The ban is laudable on major express roads, not on connecting roads.

“In the past, law enforcement agents, especially the police used this ban to inflict unbearable exploitation on the defenceless okada riders.

“Such laws mostly affected the masses and the poor which the government had neglected and left to their plight of struggling for survival. I think, there is a need for human face while implementing this,” he said.

The government, after the State Security Council Meeting on Monday, said that it would commence enforcement of the extant Transport Sector Reform Law 2018 which banned the operation of Motorcycles (Okada) and Tricycles (Keke) in some Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).

They include Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Lagos Mainland LG, Yaba LCDA, Surulere LGA, Itire-Ikate and Coker-Aguda LCDAs, Ikeja LGA, Onigbongbo and Ojodu LCDAs, Eti-Osa LGA, Ikoyi-Obalende and Iru/Victoria Island LCDAs, Lagos Island LGA and Lagos Island East LCDA.

According to the state government, the rate of crimes aided by motorcycles and tricycles keeps rising, as they are also used as get-away means by criminals.

The state government added that the law also banned motorcycles and tricycles on all highways, bridges and listed roads.

The major highways include Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Oworonshoki-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos-Ikorodu Expressway and Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.

Others are Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Funsho Williams Avenue, Agege Motor Road and Eti-Osa Lekki Coastal Road.

The restricted bridges included Iyana-Ipaja Bridge Agege, Dopemu Bridge Agege, Airport/Ikeja Bridge, Agege Motor Road/Oshodi Loop, Oshodi, Mushin/Isolo Link Bridge and Dorman Long Bridge.

Others are Ojuelegba Bridge, National Stadium Flyover, Apapa-Iganmu Bridge, Apapa-Ijora Link Bridge, Liverpool Bridge, Apapa, Mile 2 Bridge-Loop, Amuwo-Odofin, Okota (Cele)/Ijesha Link Bridge, Apakun/Apapa-Oshodi Bridge Network, Ikorodu Road/Anthony Clover Leaf Bridge and Trade Fair Flyover Bridge.

Others are Festac/Amuwo-Odofin Link Bridge, 2 Flyover Bridges along Alhaji Masha Road, Ojota Clover Leaf Bridge, Ogudu Bridge, 3rd Mainland Bridge, Maryland flyover, Ikeja General Hospital Flyover Bridge, Kodesoh Bridge, Oba Akran, Ikeja, Opebi Link Bridge, Sheraton-Opebi Bridge, Jibowu/Yaba flyover Bridge, Carter Bridge, Lagos and Bariga-Ifako Bridge.

Others are Apapa-Oshodi Expressway/Alapere Bridge, Bariga/Oworonsoki Bridge, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway/Gbagada U-Turn, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, 3rd Mainland/Oworonsoki Bridge, Eko Bridge, Apongbon flyover Bridge, Cowry Bridge (Officers Mess), Mcwen Bridge (Bonny Camp), Marina/Ikoyi Bridge and Ikoyi/Obalende Bridge.