Across major bus stops in the fifteen LGAs and LCDAs that were affected by the Lagos State ban on motorcycles and tricycles, long queues could be seen as early as 6 am as many workers waited endlessly for buses. This is one of the direct negative effects of the ban, which the Lagos State Government claimed is intended to ease traffic, curtail crime, and prevent accidents.
Lagosians are unhappy
The ban is probably the most controversial policy yet by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration. The negative effects are numerous and possibly outweigh the intended positives. And as always, it is the average Lagosian that has been made to bear the brunt of it. They are not happy about this.
Nairametrics spoke to some of the commuters who were stranded at bus stops early this morning and none of them applauded the ban. Having stood in those queues far longer than he usually would, one of the passengers told us that this is the most insensitive and discriminatory government policy ever implemented in Lagos State.
“It is very discriminatory and very unfair. For a long time, these rich men in their fancy cars have always looked down on keke drivers and desired they can all be taken off the road. They always feel like the road belongs to only car owners. Now, they finally have a governor who can give them what they want. I bet they are all happy while the rest of us trek to work.”
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Other Lagosians also echoed the same sentiment. Gabriel, who was going from Ogba to Opebi, said he regretted voting for Governor Sanwo-Olu. He had been standing in the long, serpentine queue for nearly an hour. Before today, he would have gotten a tricycle some minutes after getting to the bus stop as early as he did.
“As I speak to you now, I’ve been standing here for nearly an hour and I still can’t believe it. Before now, I would be in my office by this time... This governor is really disappointing a lot of people. I am particularly disappointed and wish I never voted for him.”
Meanwhile, there’s still traffic everywhere
One of the reasons the Lagos State Government gave for banning tricycles and motorcycles is the need to curtail traffic. In other words, the bikes and tricycles supposedly exacerbate the traffic situation on the roads. If this is true, the question then is – why is there still traffic on most of the major roads now that we only have mostly cars plying them? This is the same question Waziri asked on Twitter earlier this morning after he got stuck on Third Mainland Bridge.
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— Waziri BlackBoy (@Tmaiwaz) February 3, 2020
Some people trekked
As the long queues continued to form and the buses became more scarce, the sun came out and made everything even worse. Impatient and tired of waiting under the sweltering sun for buses that might never come, some people resorted to trek to work. Some Twitter users like Oluwaseyifunmi Uzamat posted pictures of those trekking.
— Oluwaseyifunmi Uzamat (@uzamatt) February 3, 2020
More criticisms for the Lagos Government
In the meantime, the Lagos State Government has faced major backlash from different quarters over the ban. One of those criticising the controversial policy move is the popular social commentator, Dr Joe Abah. Writing on Twitter, he said that it is not surprising that the Lagos decided to go with the least thought-out plan, as typical of most public policies in Nigeria.
With the Lagos #OkadaBan, we appear, as usual, to have gone for the option that involved the least thought & planning from a public policy perspective. If you are introducing 65 buses & 14 new ferries from tomorrow, introduce them first and watch it work before announcing a ban.
— Dr. Joe Abah (@DrJoeAbah) February 3, 2020
This could get worse
Lagosians should get ready for more of these unfortunate transportation realities of this unfortunate situation. The available buses will not be enough to transport everybody and as such, the queues will be longer at bus stops. People will get to work late and exhausted and productivity might be affected.
In a related article, we shall be looking at what becomes of those people who have lost their jobs as a result of the motorcycle and tricycle ban in Lagos State.