By Florence Onuegbu
The Lagos State Government has directed security operatives to enforce ban on commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, as it imposes fresh ban to curtail the unruly activities of motorcyclists in the state.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the directive on Wednesday, during a meeting with the state Commissioner of Police, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) at the State House, Ikeja.
Sanwo-Olu said that the total ban on Okada riders was on all highways across the six Local Government Areas (LGAs) and nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of the state.
He said that with effective from June 1, security operatives should enforce the proscription order across the listed councils.
The affected councils are Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa, and the total ban order extends to all LCDAs under the listed councils.
According to him, the fresh Okada ban followed the Feb. 2020 restriction placed on the activities of the commercial motorcycles.
Sanwo-Olu said that the government took the decision in line with the State’s Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018, to immediately address the chaos and menace created by operations of commercial motorcyclists in the listed areas.
He urged the Police to enforce the order without compromise, warning that the state government would not condone any security formation that relax the new ban in its jurisdiction.
”After critical review of our restriction on Okada activities in the first six Local Government Areas, where we restricted them on Feb. 1, 2020, we have seen that the menace has not abated.
”We are now directing a total ban on Okada activities across the highways and bridges within these six Local Government and their Local Council Development Areas, effective from June 1, 2022.
”This is a phased ban we are embarking on this period, and we expect that within the short while when this ban will be enforced, Okada riders in other places where their activities are yet to be banned can find something else to do.
”We have given the notice now and we expect all commercial motorcycles plying the routes in the listed councils and areas to vacate the highways before enforcement begins. The enforcement will be total,” the governor said.
He urged residents patronising Okada riders on highways to embrace the alternative transport schemes already provided by the government to plan their journey.
Sanwo-Olu said that the government had provided Last Mile Buses, medium-capacity and high-capacity buses in the affected areas for the convenience of commuters.
He said that Okada riding on the highways remained unsafe and would no longer be tolerated.
The governor said that the state government had been ramping up construction work on its two rail line projects to further increase the choices of commuting for residents.
”We have provided Last Mile buses in the affected areas; they are working and effective. We also have medium-capacity buses and high-capacity buses working in these areas.
”Before the end of the year, we are also bringing the rail along these corridors with their terminals. We have provided jetties as well to provide alternatives.
”We will not sit back and watch criminally-minded people use that mode of transportation (motorcycles) to perpetrate crimes and criminality in Lagos.
”Lives are being lost on a daily basis, preventable accidents are happening every day and the riders are not respecting any of our traffic laws.
”The situation has led to a complete breakdown of law and order. This ban has come to stay and we will not tolerate any weakness in enforcement,” he said.
The Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, directed his men to ensure complete enforcement of the Governor’s order in the listed councils and areas. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by AbdulFatai Beki/Maureen Atuonwu