…Riders, passengers arrested to face full wrath of law
…Decision well thought out based on stakeholders’ resolutions – Omotoso
By Moses Adeniyi
Following suit in line with demands from stakeholders, the Lagos State Government (LASG) has declared a full ban on the operation of motorcycles, popularly called Okada, in additional four (4) Local Government Areas (LGAs) and six (6) Local Council Development Areas (LCDA).
The LGAs and their respective LCDAs Include Kosofe Local Government – Ikosi-Isherri LCDA and Agboyi-Ketu LCDA; Oshodi-Isolo Local Government; Isolo LCDA and Ejigbo LCDA; Shomolu Local Government – Bariga LCDA; Mushin Local Government – Odi-Olowo LCDA.
The ban on these areas would form a phase II to augment an earlier order which placed ban on their operations in six (6) LGAs and nine (9) LCDAs with an enforcement which commenced in June, 2022.
Recall that stateholders including religious and traditional leaders, youth representatives, Community Development Associations, Security and Paramilitary agencies, and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) had on Tuesday in a forum held at Ikeja, the State Capital, largely called for a total ban of Okada operation in the entire 20 LGAs and LCDAs in the State.
The State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, had mentioned that the resolutions of the stakeholders would be presented to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, after which with critical consultations and engagement in line with the demands for inclusiveness, a declaration would be made.
Following the process, the Interministerial committe set-up to consider the subject in a press briefing on Thursday at Ikeja, the State Capital, declared that having submitted the resolutions to the Governor and all relevant consultations and engagement made, the Governor has endorsed the ban of Okada operation in additional four (4) LGAs and their respective LCDAs (6).
“The State Government in addition to the existing ban is now directing a total ban on Okada activities in four (4) new LGs and their LCDAs, effective from 1st September, 2022,” the State’s Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, told newsman.
According to him, the ban is in “a bid to further promote the Safety and Security of lives and properties in the State.”
“This decision is to further consolidate on the achievements made so far with particular reference to decline in Accident and Crime rate as well as to continue to bring sanity to our communities within the State,” he added.
He stated that “the State Government has directed the Nigeria Police Force, and the Lagos Command with all relevant stakeholders’ (i.e Army, Navy, Air force, other Security and Law enforcement formations within the State) to be complimented by the ‘Anti-Okada Squad’ that will be deployed to these new locations in a bid to stimulate seamless implementation and enforcement of the phase 2 ban in the State.”
“While the ban is in force, the public are advised to resort to alternative and sustainable means of transportation provided in the State, such as the First and Last Mile Transport Scheme, the BRT Scheme, the Lagos e-hailing taxi Scheme (Lagride) and other acceptable mode of transportation to go about their daily activities,” he said.
Reiterating that the major resolution reached at the Stakeholders forum tagged “Okada Ban: What Next” by the public was a state-wide ban on Okada Operations in the State, he said “the Ministry in conjunction with the inter-ministerial committee on Okada having critically accessed these resolutions and the challenges of Okada Operations on the Security Architecture of the State; recommended to Mr. Governor not to go back on the already laid down phase ban in a bid to sustain the gains.”
The Commissioner mentioned that motorcycle impounded will be crushed and the process will be made public, while individuals (both riders and passengers alike) “arrested will be made to face the full wrath of the law in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.”
He implored “the general public to join hands together with the State Government by complying with the decision of the Government geared towards combating the monster that Okada operation has created, so that sanity can return to our State.”
According to him, the State Government having received and considered empirical reports from the Ministry of Health, Lagos State Health Service Commission and the Lagos State Police Command on downward slide in accident and crime rates in order to analyse the impact of the ban on Safety and Security before and during the ban within the affected areas of the State, made the decision to extend the ban to other areas.
Analysis of the data, he said, revealed report from LASTMA confirms that accident rate as it relates to Commercial motorcycles has reduce by 4%; (i.e 68 accident cases was recorded in June, 2022 as against 74 recorded in May);
“Report for Ministry of Health confirms that accident rate as it relates to Commercial motorcycles has reduced 63.5% in all general hospital across the State (i.e 176 accident cases were reported in June as against 277 recorded cases in May).
“It is also important to mention that the restricted corridors (i.e Apapa, Lagos Island, Yaba, Surulere, Ikeja) recorded a significantly low accident reports which indicates that the restriction is achieving its objectives (i.e accident record in June is 18 as against 91 recorded in May),” he stated.
“Report from Commissioner of Police confirms as follows: Crime Rate i. 14 crime cases were recorded in June as against 20 in May; ii. Two crime cases as at 15th July as against 14 in June.
“Accident Rate i. 23 accident cases were recorded in June as against 37;
ii. Two cases of accident as at 15th July as against 23 in June,” he added.
On the average, the data, he mentioned, shows that the operation has significant gains and compliance rate in the concerned areas as available records’ shows that crime and accident rate has reduced astronomically by 86% and 63.7% respectively within the period under review and a total of 7,500 motorcycles have been impounded and crushed accordingly, “hence, the need to sustain this achievement.”
“Based on the apparent positive impact of the ban and the resolution of the Stakeholders’ forum, Mr. Governor has approved the ban of Okada in another Four (4) LGs and their respective Five (5) LCDAs for the 2nd Phase of the total ban, in addition to the on-going ban in the Six (6) LGs and their respective LCDAs,” he said.
On the fear that the ban would render many jobless, thereby leading to resort to crimes, Oladeinde said various empowerment opportunities put in place by the State Government should be optimised by Lagosians.
“Furthermore, the State Government’s existing interventions aimed at empowering her citizens should equally be accessed as an alternative means of livelihood for the affected riders.
“These interventions are coordinated by the following MDAs: Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) (vocational training); Ministry of Wealth Creations and Employment (internship programmes); Office of Civic Engagement; Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) (Loan for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs, Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme “LEAP”); Ministry of Agriculture (Agric YES); Ministry of Education (CodeLagos Scheme) and many others,” he said.
The Commissioner said the protection of lives and properties “is a collective responsibility of all,” calling on residents to give feedbacks and complaints through hotlines 09038208154, 09169655855, 09034810153, 09033090826.
Speaking, the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said the pronouncement was in line with the views of stakeholders, considering anxiety over recent security threats.
According to him, the ban was also justifiable, as the commercial operations of Okada do not form part of the greater Lagos journey in terms of the transportation master plan of the State.
Lagos State has been on the roll of red alert over threats of possible plans of terror attack, a signal that has informed calls on the Government to take action.
NewsDirect had reported how stakeholders have reached resolution to prevail on the Government to enforce a total ban on Okada, following wild identification of menaces of accidents and crimes, perpetrated through the means, as well as indiscriminate migration.
The State Government had in partnership with relevant stakeholders’ began the implementation and enforcement of the Governors pronouncement on the total ban of motorcycle operations in six (6) Local Governments (LGs) and the respective nine (9) Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) under them including all major bridges and highways of the State which had since taken effect from 1st June, 2022.
The ban on Okada has now become a national subject as the Federal Government is also presently considering a nationwide ban of motorcycles across the Country.