The Lagos State Government on Monday says it will be launching the first and last mile buses by next week to ply the routes which the commercial motorcycles popularly called okada are plying and serve as alternatives to them.
This is part of the measures taken by the state government against the security breaches and menace of okada riders, kidnapping, armed robbery, cult clashes and violent assaults in the state.
The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu revealed this during a stakeholders’ meeting on security held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja.
Sanwo-Olu assured the audience at the event, which included religious leaders, the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, military chiefs, traditional leaders, community leaders, students, unionists and members of the State Executive Council, that decisive action would be taken on commercial motorcycles, which speaker after speaker described as a means for criminals.
They said the operators are unruly, uncouth, rude and brutal, adding that however, those who patronise them and the motorcyclists will not be left in the cold.
Gov. Sanwo-Olu said that the string of lawlessness witnessed daily from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required urgent action, stressing that the government would be announcing reforms in transportation, which will further make changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations.
“We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders are disregarding and flouting the restrictions we imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis. We have also observed with dismay, the ongoing violent confrontation by commercial motorcyclists against our law enforcement agencies.
“Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the State in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality.” Gov Sanwo-Olu insisted.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police Commissioner, Mr Hakeem Odumosu(CP) also at the occasion raised alarm over rising security breaches resulting from the menace of Okada operations in the State.
He revealed that between January and early this month, three hundred and twenty commercial motorcycles were arrested in two hundred and eighteen cases of criminal incidents in which seventy eight suspects were detained and four hundred and eighty ammunition recovered.
CP Odumosu said that Okada accounted for 83% of three hundred and eighty five cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos.
“The menace of Okada operators does not end with avoidable accidents. Crime reports from the field have shown that a greater percentage of crimes, ranging from armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing, traffic robbery to carjacking and cash snatching from bank customers, are attributable to armed hoodlums who operate on Okada.
“The nuisance constituted by the Okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law-abiding citizens. Sections of Lagos populace have come to regard commercial motorcycles as a necessary evil, it has become imperative for the Government to take more drastic measures against their notoriety.”CP Odumosu noted.
The Lagos government had in January 2020 banned commercial motorcycles and tricycles in 15 local councils of the state.