Is Lagos afraid of ‘Okada, Keke’ operators?

To be or not be. That seems to be the fate of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu led government of Lagos State as it concerns how to tame commercial motorcyclists, tricycle riders and their excess on Lagos roads.
The state government had earlier vowed to bring down the weight of the law on them and twice it has dilly-dallied on how and when to start the strict enforcement of the law that barred the cyclists from operating on some roads in the state.
Weeks ago, it had announced its readiness to implement the laws against the recklessness of the rides; though, no exact day of commencement was fixed but on January 15 2020, it came with a piece of news announcing its decision to defer the enforcement of the law by law enforcement agencies.
But yesterday, January 20, 2020, the social media was ago with a list of roads the ubiquitous Okada and Keke are not permitted to ply, however, hours later, the state in a statement signed Mr. Gbemga Omotosho, it distanced itself from the social media news.

It debunked the list of restricted routes in the social media in the following words: “The Lagos State Government has not taken a definite action on the operations of commercial motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles, popularly known as Keke Marwa on some routes across the State.

“Contrary to the news in circulation on the list of restricted areas, especially on the social media, purporting that the government has banned Okada and Keke Marwa on some routes, the government declared that no such action has been taken, adding that the list is false and unofficial. It should be disregarded.

“According to the state government, a definite position on the issue will soon be made public through the official media channels of the government.

“Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso last week told State House Correspondents after the Security Council Meeting held at the Lagos House, Ikeja on January 13 that the delay was informed by need for the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration to achieve a generally accepted solution to what has been termed the okada menace.

‘We have just concluded our routine security meeting, during which the issue of Okada and tricycles was discussed exhaustively. For now, no major decision has been taken on the matter. There are several factors for this development, but the main reason was to reckon with various opinions expressed by stakeholders.

“So many people have made representations to the Government concerning commercial motorcycles and tricycles, including human rights groups, unionists and traders. They came up with many reasonable observations; all their views have been collated and are being considered.

“We feel it will not be good enough for the Government to take a final decision on the matter without considering the opinions of the stakeholders. That would be against the spirit of democracy for which the Sanwo-Olu administration stands.’

Omotoso said whatever decision is taken by the government, the security of lives of all Lagosians will remain paramount to the Sanwo-Olu administration.

The commissioner however, stressed the government’s plan to step up the enforcement of the Lagos State Traffic Law as well as intensify its sensitisation of commercial motorcycles and tricycle riders on the need to obey the law.

it will be recalled that in the days of Mr. Babatunde Fashola, the state banned okada from plying some major roads in the state.


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