Lagos crushes thousands of seized ‘okadas’

Thousands of motorbikes, popularly called okada, seized by the state authorities from various places, were crushed on Friday.

A fresh and ‘total ban’ on commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada was imposed by Babajide Sanwo-Olu on May 18, 2022, on all highways, six Local Government Areas and nine Local Council Development Areas in Lagos State.

The restriction has been in effect for three days now.

Gbenga Omotoso, the commissioner of information and strategy and the head of the okada ban operation, said that if Lagosians do not comply with the regulation, okada riders and their passengers will continue to face the law and their bikes will continue to be seized and crushed.

Omotoso reported that over 5,000 motorcycles were crushed in the first quarter of this year and that the process will continue, with approximately 2, 000 bikes on the ground, ready to be crushed.

Bikes, he claims, have had a bad significant impact on the youth. At the start of the year, there were approximately 1012 bike accidents, of which 767 were caused by bikes.

Read also: Lagosians groan as transport fare surges amid ‘Okada’ ban

45 percents of people who had accidents with the bikes are young people between the ages of 30-39.

“So the okada ban is helping young ones stay alive,” he told journalists.

He also said that anyone who wants to remain in the business should create a cooperative and join the last-mile scheme because the state government is not leaving the okada riders to their own system, which some have followed.

“Okada is not part of the transformation plan Lagos state has, but sooner or later, it is going to be out of place.”

He advises young individuals who wish to start a business to go to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, make a proposal, and seek funding for their trade, or to learn a trade, as okada is not the sole source of income.

On Wednesday, Benjamin Hundeyin, police public relations officer, Lagos State Command, confirmed to NAN, that 16 motorcyclists has been arrested and 140 motorcycles impounded.