‘Okada’ riders fully back on Lagos roads, defy Sanwo-Olu’s order

The announcement by the Lagos State Governor, banning Okada on Lagos roads during the Covid-19 restriction has been breached by errant commercial bike riders. Then, the Governor made it clear that the ban will stand even after the lockdown. But what do we have today. The Okada riders are fully back on the roads, not only in Ikorodu but in Ikeja, Agege, Egbeda and all over the Lagos metropolis.

The question is, “Why would our government make laws when they know that they lack the proper means to enforce such laws?” Some groups feel this government is too soft on the people by failing to enforce its own enacted laws; otherwise, why is it that after announcing the ban on commercial motorcycles for only three weeks, the bike riders flooded the roads with their usual activities, yet no one seem to care. It looks like the Okada riders just resume from vacation and are starting their job with renewed energy. 

When our reporters confronted a police man in Ikorodu over the matter, the officer, who spoke on the ground of anonymity, explained that there was an order from above which states that Okada riders are allowed to ply the inner streets. When our reporter pointed that the Governor clearly made his speech clear on the ban that Okada should stop plying order all roads, the officer explained that the order from above commuted the ban to allowing Okada to do their job on the inner streets.

Now, the Okada men have besieged the main roads in Ikorodu and they have resumed their menacing activities in the community by causing road traffic, roadside robbery and causing accidents. They have started causing traffic congestion at Ikorodu Roundabout, Sabo Junction and at Benson Bus Stop. Worse still, they are back on BRT lanes, fully plying through Ikorodu to Ketu axis.

A resident of Ikorodu, Bayo Awolesi, questioned the rationale of the Governor on the issue by asking, ‘How can a Governor proclaim a law and the people are rubbishing it?’ Majority of the people who spoke with our reporter want the Governor to take drastic action in enforcing the Okada ban in Lagos State, because the Okada riders are contributing to the traffic problems in the metropolis and some of them are engaging in street robbery.

It is believed, mostly from past experience, that with the commercial bike men, running lose on our roads again, there will soon be high cases of road accidents.

Our hospitals will soon be flooded by emergency accident cases caused by reckless Okada riders. We all remember how the rising cases of emergency Okada-related accidents dropped in the week the ban was enforced.

People losing their limbs and lives in avoidable Okada accidents were reduced to the barest minimum, but now, people fear what will happen as they are back on the roads in full force.

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