- A final and clear warning has been issued to commercial motorbikes in Lagos state who plans to violate the banning order
- The Lagos state task force revealed that between January and December of last year, 11,820 motorcycles were impounded and destroyed
- However, experts have critiqued the decision of the state government to place the ban without an alternative job
Lagos - The Lagos state government State Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit, (Task Force) said it destroyed no fewer than 11,820 motorcycles in 2021.
According to the Guardian newspaper, the chairman of the task force, CSP Shola Jejeloye said the unit will not relent in its quest to eliminate unruly commercial motorbikes in the state.
Jejeloye however revealed that despite a series of arrests and seizures of commercial motorbikes, there has been a rapid increase in commercial motorbikes in the state.
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“For instance, if we arrest 50 today, you will see more than 150 motorcycles on the same spot when we return after two weeks. The agency is working, but these guys seem to have more money to buy new ones.”
Meanwhile, as gathered by Legit.ng, the agency stated that the crushing of seized motorbikes will continue until there is a total elimination.
The agency’s spokesperson, Gbadeyan Abdulraheem disclosed neighboring countries are to be blamed for the influx of motorbikes in the state.
He however promised that the operation of commercial motorbikes in the state will be a thing of the past in due time.
“When you look at Africa as a whole, especially the West African sub-region, you hardly see any country not plagued by unrest, so, they have found a comfort zone, which is Lagos.
“As we crushed, we experienced an influx of more, even from other countries like Ghana, Togo, Mali, Chad and Benin Republic. Their belief is that once they get to Lagos, they will see someone to buy a motorcycle for them and they can make N5, 000 per day. N5, 000 is a big money in their countries, by the time they convert our money to their currency, they will become millionaires within six months.”
While making reference to the Okada ban in Kano state, he stated that most of the commercial motorbikes trooped into Lagos state.
He stated that the unit usually impounds over 500 motorcycles daily but still finds it difficult to get a total clear out.
“These guys know every nook and cranny of Lagos, so it has a serious security implication; a total ban is the best for us.”
Security expert faults Lagos ban on okada
Contrastingly, security experts have countered the method of the Lagos state government in getting rid of commercial motorbikes.
The CEO of Safety and Security Watch, Chinyere Amaechi, was of the opinion that the menace perpetrated by Okada riders can only stop if the government prepare an alternative means of living for them.
“There is a big risk involved in riding on the highway, competing with big vehicles on the roads, and they are risking their lives. If they have an alternative, a better option, most of them will not like to be on the road.
“So, for the government to remove them, and remove them effectively, they must have a means for them to fall back on.”
Okada ban: Lagos police to arrest, prosecute passengers
In another related event, the Lagos state government says it will not condone any act or violation of law and order as there will be strict consequences thereof.
Recently the Lagos state police impounded 150 motorbikes plying the highways of the restricted areas in Lagos state.
Similarly, passengers have been warned not to patronize okada riders or risk being arrested and prosecuted.
Security group hails Sanwo Olu's ban on okada
Meanwhile, the Southwest Security stakeholders Group (SSSG) has commended the Lagos state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the recent ban on the commercial motorcycle riders.
According to a statement made available to Legit.ng on Thursday, May 19, the group said the move became necessary as a measure against unscrupulous Okada riders perpetrating crimes in the state.
While applauding the move, the group in its statement also urged governor Sanwo-Olu to extend the ban to other areas in the state.