How is the #OkadaBan affecting you? See thread of reactions from Twitter

Okada

The complete enforcement of the ban of commercial motorcycles – okada – in specified parts of Lagos has gone into effect today, Wednesday, June 1, 2022. These cover six local government areas, LGAs, and nine local council development areas, LCDAs, in Eti Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland and Apapa. It also includes the city’s trunk roads and flyover bridges.

The former Lagos government, Babatunde Fashola was the first to take legislative and executive actions against commercial motorcyclists in the state.

Fashola placed a total ban on okada operation in Ikeja.

A statement issued by the Office of the Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos Police Command and signed by the head, Joseph Jaiyeoba, said the state government and the police took the decision to ban okada because of the high rate of robbery involving the use of okadas.

According to the statement issued to the okada unions in Ikeja, the police stated that “due to increasing rate of criminality through the use of motorcycles, popularly known as okada, the Lagos State Government in collaboration with the Lagos State Police Command have decided to put a total ban on okada within Ikeja axis.”

Then, following the murder of Sunday David Imoh and the hospitalisation of Francis Olatimji and Phillip Balogun due to mob action by commercial motorcyclists – okada – on Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Lekki, the Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, announced a total and indefinite ban on the operations of okada in six Local Governments area of the state – Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa.

Gbenga Omotosho, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, said it was necessary as he reported over 10,000 accidents between 2016 and 2019 at the General Hospitals involving over 600 deaths and a skyrocketing crime wave, according to the Police.

“Also, the rate of crimes aided by Okada and Keke keeps rising. They are also used as getaway means by criminals. Therefore, after consultations with stakeholders, the State Security Council, in compliance with the extant Transport Sector Reform Law 2018, has decided to commence enforcement of the law which bans the operation of Okada and Keke in six Local Government Areas and nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs),” Omotosho said.

Days later, on May 21, the Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin announced that both motorcyclists and passengers who defy the ban on Okada operations in specified areas of the state will be arrested and prosecuted.

“Under the new total ban of motorcycles in six local government areas of Lagos, passengers and riders alike will be arrested and prosecuted. The passenger is an accomplice. Ignorance will not be an excuse!” he tweeted.

Sanwo-Olu said the Government took the decision in line with the State’s Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018 to immediately address the chaos and menace created by the operations of Okada in the listed areas.

He said, “After a critical review of our restriction on Okada activities in the first six Local Government Areas where we restricted them on February 1, 2020, we have seen that the menace has not abated. We are now directing a total ban on Okada activities across the highways and bridges within these six Local Government and their Local Council Development Areas, effective from June 1, 2022.

“This is a phased ban we are embarking on this period, and we expect that within the short while when this ban will be enforced, Okada riders in other places where their activities are yet to be banned can find something else to do. We have given the notice now and we expect all commercial motorcycles plying the routes in the listed councils and areas to vacate the highways before enforcement begins. The enforcement will be total.”

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