An amalgamation of civil societies, faith and community-based organizations, the Defend Lagos Coalition, has declared support for the Lagos State government’s total clampdown on commercial motorcycle operations.
Speaking on behalf of the group at a news briefing in Ogba, Ikeja, the National Coordinator/Spokesman, Activists for Good Governance, Mr Declan Ihekaire, urged Lagos residents to support the ban aimed at checking the threat to lives and wellbeing which the continued activities of commercial motorcycle operators portend.
According to Mr Ihekaire, a collective action, which requires the input of all true Lagosians, is needed to eradicate the menace of Okada in the state as residents had on a daily basis, experienced several threats to lives and property, flagrant disobedience of the laws of the land, by the ‘army’ of undocumented commercial motorcycle operators, who have laid siege to Lagos.
He stressed that “the sense of insecurity convened by these dare-devil riders should not be allowed to continue.”
Noting that “Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had shown that he is a dutiful servant of the people who is ever-ready to listen and carry out the people’s desires in line with his constitutional mandate” Mr Ihekaire lamented that artisans and able-bodied Nigerian youths have abandoned their trained jobs to become emergency Okada riders.
“Youths are no longer interested in vocational training to earn a decent and enduring living; rather, they have taken to riding Okada to make “quick” money with the attendant risk to their lives.”
He explained that the Coalition had conducted a survey which revealed that not only are majority of these motorcycle riders foreigners from countries, such as Republic of Chad, Niger Republic and other neighboring countries, but they also constitute a very potent risk to lives and properties of Lagosians and must be stopped before it is too late.
“In the past few months, we have recorded cases of violent crimes and civil disturbances directly linked to the motorcycle operators, with some leading to the destruction of assets, loss of lives of innocent citizens and security agents.”
The Defend Lagos Coalition called on the government to immediately work towards the restoration of law and order in public transportation to ease the inconveniences that would likely arise, as a result of the inevitable demandas a result of the proscription against commercial motorcycles
By Omolara Omosanya