By Moses Adeniyi
Following its resolve to mitigate avoidable accidents in Lagos metropolis, the State Government on Monday declared a ban on the operation of commercial motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles, popularly known as Keke Marwa, in some Local Government Areas and along certain major highways and bridges in the metropolis.
The State Government atributed the ban to the alarming rate of unnecessary loss of lives to motorcycles and tricycles accidents, a situation it stated had attracted over 10,000 fatalities between 2016 and 2019.
Briefing State House Correspondent at the State Capital, Ikeja, after a State security resolution on Monday, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said the State Security Council, in compliance with the extant Transport Sector Reform Law 2018 took the decision considering the significance of ensuring lives of residents are safe and secured.
According to the Commissioner, the ban which takes enforcement from the 1st of February is paramount to curb the increasing occurrence of unfortunate accidents and crimes perpetrated through motorcycles and tricycles across Lagos metropolis.
“After a robust assessment of the debate on what has been widely referred to as the Motorcycle (Okada) and Tricycle (Keke) Menace, the Lagos State Government and the State Security Council have decided that the security and safety of lives of Lagosians are paramount.
“The figures are scary. From 2016 to 2019, there were over 10,000 accidents recorded at the General Hospitals alone. This number excludes unreported cases and those recorded by other hospitals. The total number of deaths from reported cases is over 600 as at date.
“The rate of crimes aided by Motorcycles (Okada) and Tricycles (Keke) keeps rising. Motorcycles (Okada) and Tricycles (Keke) are also used as getaway means by criminals.
“Therefore, after consultations with stakeholders, the State Security Council, in compliance with the extant Transport Sector Reform Law 2018, has decided to commence enforcement of the law which bans the operation of Motorcycles (Okada) and Tricycles (Keke),” the Commissioner said.
The Commissioner stated that on commencement of the enforcement, defaulters will not be spared to face the full wrath of the law.
The affected LGAs and LCDAs are: Apapa LGA and Apapa Iganmu LCDA;Lagos Mainland LGA and Yaba LCDA; Surulere LGA Itire-Ikate and Coker-Aguda LCDAs; Ikeja LGA Onigbongbo and Ojodu LCDAs; Eti-Osa LGA Ikoyi-Obalende and Iru/Victoria Island LCDAs; Lagos Island LGA and Lagos Island East LCDA.
The 10 affected major Highways are Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Apapa-Oshodi, Oworonshoki-Oshodi, Lagos-Ikorodu, Lagos-Abeokuta, Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe,Lagos-Badagry Expressways, Funsho Williams Avenue, Agege Motor Road and Eti-Osa Lekki Coastal Road.
The affected bridges are: iyana-Ipaja Bridge Agege; Dopemu Bridge Agege;Airport/Ikeja Bridge; Agege Motor road/oshodi Loop, Oshodi; Mushin/Isolo Link Bridge; Dorman Long Bridge; Ojuelegba Bridge; National Stadium Flyover; Apapa-Iganmu Bridge; Apapa-Ijora Link Bridge; Liverpool Bridge, Apapa; Mile 2 Bridge-Loop, Amuwo-Odofin; Okota (cele)/Ijesha Link Bridge; Apakun/Apapa-Oshodi Bridge Network; Ikorodu Road/Anthony Clover leaf Bridge.
Others on the list include: Trade Fair Flyover Bridge; Festac/Amuwo-Odofin Link Bridg; 2 Flyover Bridges along Alhaji Masha Road; Ojota Clover leaf Bridge; Ogudu Bridge; 3rd Mainland Bridge; Maryland flyover; Ikeja General Hospital Flyover Bridge; Kodesoh Bridge, Oba Akran, Ikeja; Opebi Link Bridge; Sheraton-Opebi Bridge; Jibowu/Yaba flyover Bridg; Carter Bridge, Lagos.
Others are Bariga-Ifako Bridge; Apapa-Oshodi Expressway/Alapere Bridge;-Bariga/Oworonsoki Bridge; Apapa-Oshodi Expressway/Gbagada U-Turn; Apapa-Oshodi Expressway; 3rd Mainland/Oworonsoki Bridge; Eko Bridge; Apongbon flyover Bridge; Cowry Bridge (Officers Mess); Mcwen Bridge (Bonny Camp); Marina/Ikoyi Bridge and Ikoyi/Obalende Bridge.
It was disclosed that the enforcement is the first stage of the State Government’s plan to sanitise roads in the State and protect residents from the negative effects of illegal modes of transportation.
“The Law is very clear. Motorcycles (Okada) and Tricycles (Keke) are banned on all highways, bridges and the listed roads,
“Law enforcement agents have been directed that with effect from February 1, 2020, there will be Zero Tolerance for Motorcycles (Okada) and Tricycles (Keke) in (on) the listed Local Governments, highways and bridges. Members of the public are hereby notified that all offenders and violators will be dealt with in accordance with the Law,” he said.
The ban it was noted covers motorcycle operator, Opay, which became so popular in recent times.
Omotoso disclosed that the State Government is on the verge of clearing a fleet of buses that would be released soon for ease of transportation across Lagos metropolis. The State’s Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Federick Oladeinde disclosed that the State Government would make alternative means of transportation through commercial buses in the affected areas. Much anxiety and speculations have erupted for weeks with some circulated rumours, since indications began to show that the State Government would take stern policy action on the operations of motorcycles and tricycles in Lagos metropolis.