Coping without the operations of commercial motorcyclists popularly known as #okada# by Lagos residents had in recent time proved to be stressful and challenging,judging from the long queues at the various bus stops for either #keke marwa# or buses,especially during the morning hours as people struggles to reach their various working and shop areas on time. Same scenario in the evenings as people also hussles to get back to their various homes and to escape the horrific Lagos traffics. This period is also known as the rush hours and you have to be extra energetic and vigilant for you to get transportation especially if there is no organised queue to that effect.
Th decision of the Lagos State government to ban or restrict the operations of commercial motorcyclists on 475 major roads in the state sometime last year, generated a lot of misgivings. While some commended the decision, others criticized it, especially when the state government has not provided alternative jobs for Okada riders or provide another means of transportation for residents, especially on major streets across the state.
Specifically, Section 3 (1) of the traffic law prohibits the riding, driving or propelling of a cart, wheel-barrow, motorcycle or tricycle on the listed major highways in Lagos.
With the law, many residents had expected that Okada riders would be free to ply other roads in the state, apart from the listed 475 major roads. But the situation appears quite different as the law is being enforced by policemen in the state today.
While policemen have clamped down on defaulters and seized their motorcycles on several occasions, they have in recent times extended their dragnets to unrestricted roads where they now lay ambush, intimidate and extort money from the riders with impunity. This has given rise to untimely deaths and accidents which mostly occurs whenever an okada rider runs into policemen and a hot chase will ensues.
That was the same story yesterday as Three police men were feared dead in Lagos when a commercial Faragon bus ran over them and crushed them to death.
The unfortunate incident happened on Friday Morning at Cement Bus Stop along Lagos-Abeokuta Express Road. The bus according to eye witnesses was coming from the Oshodi end of the Express Road and heading towards Iyana Ipaja when the accident occurred.T
It was gathered that the policemen were chasing commercial motorcycle which flouted the State govt law ban on the operation of motorcycles when the accident occurred.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Police Command , Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP said that she received some calls from a media house in respect of that trying to confirm the incident, but was yet to confirm from the Divisional Police Officer of that area or the Area Commander. What should be done to reduce this accidents? Should Okada ban be lifted? Share your views