Okada ban: Lagos divided over state govt’s decision


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Some Lagos residents on Thursday expressed divergent views over the ban on commercial motorcycles in the state by the state government.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday imposed a total ban on activities of commercial motorcycle operators in six local government areas of Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa.

Sanwo-Olu directed security operatives to enforce the ban beginning from June 1.

Some residents, however, told NAN in Lagos that the government decision on the ban was a welcome development while others frowned at it.

Mr Gbenga Ajayi, a teacher, resident of Ayobo, said that ‘okada’ ban was a good decision but should be extended to other local government areas, not only in selected areas.

“The ban should be extend to all local governments in the state, if not the riders will migrate to the other parts of Lagos where it is not banned and the story will continue.”

He said the proliferation of okada operators posed serious threats to security structure in the state.

“Okada is constituting security threats, it is being used to perpetuate evils.

“Some riders do arm themselves with dangerous weapons to rob their passengers and even pedestrians of their valuables.

“Some do not have regards for human life, they ride like they have extra lives. Some passengers have lost their lives while boarding motorcycles while others became disabled.

“My brother was beaten and almost lynched last month over N100 by some okada riders.

“It took the timely intervention of some policemen around to save the situation from further deterioration.

“Some riders drive recklessly, I lost a neighbour to bike accident last year.

“There should be no going back, the ban must stay to save lives and reduce crime,” he said.

In the same view, Mr Ayodele Ojo, a civil servant, who resides at Ojuelegba, Surulere, commended the state government for the ban.

He urged the government to enforce and ensure total compliance this time round.

“This is not the first time the governor is issuing such directive, announcement is not enough but enforcement.”

Ojo said that some riders use their motorcycles to kill, steal and to destroy.

“Motorcycle is used for fast get-away in crime scenes, the ban should stay so that sanity can return to our roads.

“We can no longer condone criminality all in the name of unemployment, motorcycle business is not the only means of livelihood, there are many other businesses that people can engage in.

“The ban will rid the city of insecurity and other vices,” he said.

However, a businessman, Mr Olaniyi Daniel, resident of Agege, frowned at the ban of commercial motorcycles.

He said banning okada would further broaden the way to unemployment.

“Okada creates massive job for the unemployed young people and the livelihood of many depend on it.”

Daniel said that banning okada was not the solution to okada riders’ menace and would not solve insecurity instead, it would increase the rate of criminal activities in the state.

“Prohibiting okada will not solve the issue of crimes in the state; criminals are very sensitive and strategic in their ways if the government bans okada, they will find other ways to perpetuate their crime.

“I believe it is not only motorcycle that is used to commit crime, criminals use cars too.”

He urged the government to provide alternatives to alleviate the initial inconveniences,” he said.

Mrs Glory Ameh, resident of Apapa, said that the ban on okada was not a good move, adding that it would bring undue hardship to some residents of the state.

“My area cannot be accessed except by Okada, it is the only means of transportation, if the ban is enforced, it will bring undue hardship.”

She urged the state government to come up with a policy and regulation that would guide the okada riders, rather than outright ban.(NAN)

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