The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has maintained that the restriction of Okada and Keke Napep in the state will not be reversed.
Speaking during the launch of eight locally manufactured speed boats of the state ferry services, Lagferry, in Badore Ferry Terminal, Ajah, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the ban was due to security and safety reasons.
Sanwo-Olu says, “Let me tell you about the ban which we just enforced. We will sustain the ban on Okada and tricycles, mainly because of security and safety reasons.”
“The security and safety of citizens are paramount to any government. As a responsible government, we will not fold our arms and allow any security breach in the state.”
“We will continue to ensure the safety of our people on all fronts. There have been reports of serious security breaches and safety concerns in areas where these operators ply. We had to respond to these concerns because of life and safety matters to this government,” he added.
The ban on Okada in the state led to clashes on Monday, involving operatives of Okada and Keke and Agberos and men of the Nigeria Police Force (Task Force).
The Okada riders and Agberos had gone on a rampage and begun to smash vehicles and block roads, in reaction to the ban on their activities, while also burning tyres.
According to news, motorcycle riders and the Police clashed in Apapa, Surulere and other areas of the state.
Meanwhile, in 2019 Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while speaking at “The Platform”, had said his administration would regulate but not ban Okada operations in the state but rather look for better ways to make it work for the people.
According to his manifesto, a regulation system would be developed for better accountability for motorcycle riders.
Sanwo-Olu said, “To also solve the traffic issue of Lagos is also to talk about the Okada issue; Okada is everywhere, anywhere you see. Part of the things that we are going to be doing is not to leave anybody behind. People are currently using a system that is working for them.”
“You see some Okada riders that are branded, that use smart ways to pay when you finish the journey. We are trying to harmonise all of them and be able to come up with a regulation system where we can account for every Okada rider.
“We will know who they are, we can manage them. In fact, the solutions that some of them are bringing, they can disenable those Okada remotely. That is where we are planning to get to but it is also something that we need to think through very well and be sure that nobody is disenfranchised.”
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Disenable the #Okada remotely? …………….. Comment: “I don’t believe what he is saying because the government should have introduced regulations instead of banning them. You announced a ban and now you are talking of regulation. Putting the cart before the horse. This is Nigeria where we behave like the movie star – Rambo who will always fire his gun before thinking. The Okada and Tricycle ban has placed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in jeopardy. If we are serious in this country, the government should have provided an alternative means of livelihood for those the ban will affect before making the announcements. Yesterday 3/2/2020, I noticed several people trekking. This is government-induced suffering on the citizens. So, the best thing is to lift the ban and introduce regulations guiding the operation of the Okada and Tricycle business.” Rev. Vincent Duya #gbetutv
Speaking through his media aide, Gboyega Akosile, Sanwo-Olu told said that the decision to restrict motorcycles in several parts of the state was taken after a review of available statistics on accidents and crimes.
Gboyega Akosile has however denied Sanwo-Olu ever mentioned whether a ban will be placed on motorcycles or not, adding that the ‘candidate’ ‘wasn’t sure of words’.
He says, “There is nothing like ban. We did not ban Okada. The law has been there for years, what we have done is to reactivate this law. The past administration was the one that relaxed it and when they relaxed it, they saw the influx of these people into Lagos unchecked.”
“What the governor said at The Platform is neither here nor there. We are looking at the current situation. Do you know that the governor may have said something last year but between that last year and now, the dynamics would have changed? The only constant thing in life is change.”