Lagos Bans Okada in Six Local Governments

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has announced a ban on the activities of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada in some Local Governments in the State, effective from the 1st of June.

The affected areas are the entire Eti-Osa area, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland and Apapa as well as all highways and bridges.

Governor Sanwo-Olu gave the order today during a meeting with all Divisional Police Officers and Area Commanders across the State at the Lagos House, Ikeja.

The Governor who said all other security agencies will join in the enforcement, stated that the total ban order extends to all LCDAs under the listed councils.

He said his administration took the decision in line with the State’s Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018 to immediately address the chaos and menace created by operations of Okada in the listed areas. The Governor had in February this year placed a restriction on the Okada activities in the affected areas.

Governor Sanwo-Olu charged the police to enforce the order without compromise, warning that his administration would not condone any security formation that relaxes the new ban in its jurisdiction.

He said: “After 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.”

Mr. Sanwo-Olu advised residents patronizing Okada riders on highways to embrace the alternative transport schemes already provided by the Government to plan their journey. He said the Government had provided Last Mile Buses, medium-capacity and high-capacity buses in the affected areas for the convenience of commuters.

The Governor insisted that Okada riding on the highways remained unsafe and would no longer be tolerated. He said the State Government had been ramping up construction work on its two rail line projects to further increase the choices of commuting for residents.

He said: “We have provided Last Mile buses in the affected areas; they are working and effective. We also have medium-capacity buses and high-capacity buses working in these areas. Before the end of the year, we are also bringing the rail along these corridors with their terminals. We have provided jetties as well to provide alternatives.

“We will not sit back and watch criminally-minded people use that mode of transportation to perpetrate crimes and criminality in Lagos. Lives are being lost on a daily basis, preventable accidents are happening every day and the riders are not respecting any of our traffic laws. The situation has led to a complete breakdown of law and order. This ban has come to stay and we will not tolerate any weakness in enforcement.” he warned.

Omolara Omosanya

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