The Lagos State Government has announced that it will be launching the first and last mile buses by next week to ply the routes which the commercial motorcycles popularly called okada are plying and serve as alternatives to them.
This is part of the measures taken by the state government against the security breaches and menace of okada riders, kidnapping, armed robbery, cult clashes and violent assaults in the state.
This disclosure was made by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at a stakeholders meeting on security held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja, on Monday, May 10, 2021.
Sanwo-Olu assured the audience at the event, which included religious leaders, the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, military chiefs, traditional leaders, community leaders, students, unionists and members of the State Executive Council, that decisive action would be taken on commercial motorcycles, which speaker after speaker described as a means for criminals.
They said the operators are unruly, uncouth, rude and brutal, adding that however, those who patronise them and the motorcyclists will not be left in the cold.
The Governor said the string of lawlessness witnessed daily from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required urgent action, stressing that the Government would be announcing reforms in transportation, which will further make changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu said, “We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders are disregarding and flouting the restrictions we imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis. We have also observed with dismay, the ongoing violent confrontation by commercial motorcyclists against our law enforcement agencies.
Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the State in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality.”
On his part, the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, raised alarm over rising security breaches resulting from the menace of Okada operations in the State.
He revealed that between January and early this month, 320 commercial motorcycles were arrested in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 ammunition recovered.
In the same period, the Lagos police boss said Okada accounted for 83% of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos.
Odumosu said, “The menace of Okada operators does not end with avoidable accidents. Crime reports from the field have shown that a greater percentage of crimes, ranging from armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing, traffic robbery to carjacking and cash snatching from bank customers, are attributable to armed hoodlums who operate on Okada.
The nuisance constituted by the Okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law-abiding citizens. Sections of Lagos populace have come to regard commercial motorcycles as a necessary evil, it has become imperative for the Government to take more drastic measures against their notoriety.”
What you should know
It can be recalled that in January 2020, the Lagos government banned commercial motorcycles and tricycles in 15 local councils of the state.
The government had said Okada was not part of the greater Lagos journey, adding that it was “not an enduring trade.”
The state has been on an enforcement drive to get the commercial motorcycles off those banned routes, which has led to some form of conflict between the Okada riders and officials.
SANWO-OLU GETS LAGOSIANS’ BACKING TO TACKLE SECURITY CHALLENGES
• Stakeholders Seek Action on Okada, Abandoned Buildings, Others
• Renewed Demand for Special Status@jidesanwoolu @drobafemihamzat @gboyegaakosile @gbenga_omo #ForAGreaterLagos
Read More.. https://t.co/O2EeOgqjP7 pic.twitter.com/gt9VzeTNd7
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) May 10, 2021