The Lagos State Government yesterday banned commercial motorcycles, popularly called Okada, from operating in six Local Government Areas (LGAs)of the state.
According to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who announced the ban during a meeting with police chiefs in the state, it is "total and indefinite."
The affected LGAs are: Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa.
He said: "After a critical review of our restriction on Okada activities in the first six LGAs where we restricted them on February 1, 2020, we have seen that the menace has not abated. We are now directing a total ban on Okada activities across the highways and bridges within these six local government and their local council development areas, effective from June 1, 2022."
He explained that the ban would be extended to other areas of the state within a short while.
"This is a phased ban we are embarking on this period, and we expect that within the short while when this ban will be enforced, Okada riders in other places where their activities are yet to be banned can find something else to do," the governor added.
Sanwo-Olu, who maintained that the recent move is in line with the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018, called on the police to enforce the ban without compromise.
The governor advised residents of the state patronising Okada riders on the highways to embrace alternative means of transportation provided by the government. This, he said, becomes important, as motorcycles are an unsafe mode of transportation.
"We have provided Last-Mile buses in the affected areas; they are working and effective. We also have medium-capacity buses and high-capacity buses working in these areas. Before the end of the year, we are also bringing the rail along these corridors with their terminals. We have provided jetties as well to provide alternatives," Sanwo-Olu reiterated.
"We will not sit back and watch criminally-minded people use that mode of transportation (motorcycles) to perpetrate crimes and criminality in Lagos. Lives are being lost on a daily basis, preventable accidents are happening every day and the riders are not respecting any of our traffic laws.
"The situation has led to a complete breakdown of law and order. This ban has come to stay and we will not tolerate any weakness in enforcement."
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Taskforce has continued with its mob up exercise to rid the Lekki axis and the entire state of okada operators, who have remained adamant to the state government's warning.
This exercise is in continuation of the total clamp down on okada operators in the state following the recent killing of a sound engineer, Mr. David Imoh by suspected commercial motorcyclists.
Leading yesterday exercise, the Chairman of Lagos State Task Force, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Shola Jejeloye, stormed the axis in a sting operation at midday.
He seized 115 bikes for flouting the state traffic laws of operating on restricted routes and plying the state's highways.
Jejeloye pledged that the agency would make do of its promise by ensuring that the illegal business carried by these operators will be frustrated till they obey the laid down laws.
"This operation will be a continuous one not just in Lekki but in every other part of the State. We will make sure that their activities are truncated till they abide by the rules," he warned.
However, CSP Jejeloye made an appeal to Lagosians to join efforts with the government in ensuring that the fight to restore and maintain sanity on Lagos roads is won collectively for the betterment of all.
"Restoring sanity is not an easy task, neither is it a job for one man or the Agency alone. If we join hands, we will achieve our desired goals of ensuring that no one takes the laws into their hands and gets away with it, especially not in a cosmopolitan city like Lagos," he said.
He also promised to raid black spots and hideouts of bike operators within the axis and other parts of the state within the coming weeks.
"More enforcement for.compliance.activities will be carried out in the coming days under the banner of Operation Kogberegbe in order to amplify their shady activities in the State," Jejeloye said.