The Lagos State Government on Wednesday banned commercial motorcycles, also known as Okada, from operating in six local government areas of the state.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced the ban during a meeting with police chiefs in the state, saying it is “total and indefinite”. The affected local councils are Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa, the governor said.
“After a critical review of our restriction on Okada activities in the first six local government areas where we restricted them on February 1, 2020, we have seen that the menace has not abated,” Sanwo-Olu was quoted as saying in a statement issued after the meeting.
“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 said the move will 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,” he 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.
He also 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.”