Commercial motorbikes, often known as Okadas, were barred from operating in 6 local government areas in Lagos State, Nigeria on Wednesday.
During a meeting with state police chiefs, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced the ban, calling it “complete and indefinite.” Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa are among the affected local councils, according to the governor.
“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,” Sanwo-Olu was quoted as saying in a statement issued after the meeting.
“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.”
He stated that the initiative will be expanded to other parts of the state in the near future.
“We are commencing on a phased ban at this period, and we expect that Okada riders in other places where their activities have yet to be banned will find something else to do within the short time when this restriction is imposed,” he added.
Sanwo-Olu, who said the current action was in accordance with the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018, urged the police to implement the restriction strictly.
He also recommended inhabitants of the state to use other modes of transportation offered by the government instead of patronizing Okada riders on the highways. He explained that this is critical because motorcycles are a dangerous means of transportation.
“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,” Sanwo-Olu reiterated.
“We will not sit back and watch criminally-minded people use that mode of transportation (motorcycles) 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.”