Traditional rulers, religious leaders, and community development associations, among other stakeholders, on Tuesday, requested Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to place a sweeping ban on the operations of commercial motorcycles, popularly called Okada, in Lagos.
The stakeholders cited the rising security threat posed by Okada riders across the state, to justify their demand.
Recall that Sanwo-Olu, on May 18, 2022, imposed a fresh ban on Okada operations in six highly urbanised local government areas of the state: they include Surulere, Apapa, Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, and Lagos Mainland.
The ban was meant to curtail insecurity and high rate of road crashes associated with Okada operations, but the stakeholders believed the ban should be extended to all parts of Nigeria’s economic nerve centre.
The stakeholders in a communiqué issued at the end of a forum tagged, ‘’Okada Ban What Next’’ jointly organised by the state ministry of information and strategy, and the ministry of transportation, in Lagos, also advised the government to sustain the enforcement of the ban.
They pointed out that pockets of riders were still operating on prohibited routes, especially highways.
“The military and the police should sustain their partnership with the state government to ensure that their officers stop flouting the ban in the specified local governments and local council development areas.
“The Lagos State Government should enforce a total ban on Okada to further improve safety and security in Lagos.’’
They insisted that any Okada rider found flouting the law and attacking law enforcement officers, agencies should be prosecuted and made to face the full wrath of the law.
They also believed that cutting-edge technology (street lights, CCTV, drones) should be fully deployed to monitor traffic incidents and enhance security across the state.
“Community, traditional and religious leaders should be more involved in intelligence gathering and security of their domain across the state,’’ they said in the communiqué.
The state government had earlier stated that statistics at its disposal showed that crime and accident rates have reduced by 86 percent and 63.7 percent respectively since the ban slammed on Okada in May this year.