In a renewed commitment to the enforcement of its ban on activities of Okada riders in 6 local government areas and 9 local council development areas, the Lagos State Government has announced the expansion of its operations to power bikes and dispatch riders who violate traffic laws.
This was made known by the Chairman of the Lagos State Taskforce, CSP Shola Jejeloye, while speaking at the agency’s headquarters at Bolade Oshodi, where he said that power bikes and motorcycles with capacity above the required standard were confiscated for either driving against traffic (one-way), conveying passengers or plying BRT corridors across the State.
Power bikes and dispatch riders not immune from traffic laws and ban
Jejeloye explained that despite the focus on commercial motorcycles, popularly known as ‘Okada’, the State Transport Sector reform laws prohibit motorbikes of any capacity from plying one-way.
He said, “Riding a power bike does not make you immune to traffic laws of the State, especially when it has to do with riding against traffic on one-way, which is highly dangerous to road users and even pedestrians. Any motorbike violating the State traffic laws will be met with the same level of punishment as the Okada riders.’’
The Chairman further disclosed that dispatch riders who have seized the opportunity of the absence of Okada on the highways to transport commuters on their bikes would also have their motorbikes impounded.
He urged all dispatch and delivery bike owners to warn their riders to desist from lifting passengers or risk forfeiting the bikes to the State Government, stressing that anyone caught contravening the traffic laws of the State will not be spared.
Jejeloye revealed that the 250 commercial and power bikes seized for various violations by the Agency will be crushed this weekend at the taskforce crushing site in Alausa.
In case you missed it
- Recall that on May 18, 2022, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had announced a total ban of commercial motorcycle operators otherwise known as Okada riders 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.
- The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, while explaining the reason for the ban on Okada, said that the command was after foreigners operating as Okada riders, in the state.
- The Lagos State Government had earlier in June, inaugurated an Anti-Okada Squad to join the Police in enforcing the ban in the 6 local government areas and highways, major roads and Bridges across the state.
Okada riders are gradually coming back on the roads in the restricted areas.
Lagos State Government needs to be more serious in it’s enforcement drive.