Lagos Bans Okada Near Banks, Restricted Routes
As armed robbers resort to use of motorcyclists popularly known as Okada to rob and terrorize residents, Lagos State Government on Thursday banned commercial motorcyclists from operating very close to banks and restricted routes.
The state acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi stated at a press briefing held at State Government Secretariat, Alausa, Lagos said it has resolve to start strict enforcement of the state traffic laws especially as it relates to the ban on okada and tricycles operators from plying restricted routes and bridges as well as driving against traffic.
According to him, the enforcement will be in association, collaboration with all the transport unions concerned, adding that, “a joint enforcement teams is in place to ensure that the state is rid of the menace of okada riders.
He called on all enforcement agencies; Lagos State Management Authority, LASTMA; Vehicle Inspection Service, VIS; Taskforce and the Nigeria police to immediately and continuously embark on enforcement on all restricted routes.
The renewed enforcement, Elegushi said is as a result of the activities of some unscrupulous okada riders “who not only violate the provisions of the road Traffic law 2012 with respect to restriction of areas of operations but also perpetrate crime using bikes.
He said, “we want to state categorically that the restriction on okada has not been lifted and enforcement will continue on a higher scale as the festive period draws closer.”
He warned all operators of okada in the state to adhere to the terms and condition of the law as compliance will enhance their trade, ensure safety of lives and property of citizens while non-compliance will attract sanctions.
“We will not tolerate okada on restricted roads, highways and bridges; we will not condone okada driving against traffic especially those who ply their trade along Lagos-Abeokuta expressway and Ojota-Ikorodu town and who use BRT restricted/reserve lane. All these are not in sync with the law.
“In line with this administration’s plan to build a Lagos that works for all, we are determined to engage with unions/associations of tricycle operators and okada operators to ensure their members engage with us in the process of ensuring public safety. Our concern is born of the need to prevent accidents resulting from okada which is on the increase currently, we are also witnessing a huge increase in motor cycle related crimes”, he said.
Also speaking at the briefing, state commissioner of police who was represented by Imohimi Edgah, an Assistant Commissioner of Police said the factors that necessitated the passage of the traffic law of 2012 have stated rearing their heads, adding that “the issue is the impunity with which okada riders are disobeying laid down rules and committing crimes which is no longer tolerable.
“We want to enforce, but now we want to do it in collaboration with the unions through persuasion and enlightenment and where that fails we apply force. We need the full cooperation of the unions in enforcing the law”, he said.
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