The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, has stressed that commercial motorcycles, popularly known as okada, are not in the transportation masterplan of the state.
Omotoso said this today during the crushing of seized motorcycles by the state at Alausa, Lagos.
He said, “Okada is not in the transportation plan that Lagos has. Whether you like it, sooner or later, it would be out of the place.”
The commissioner, addressing the media, said that 2,000 motorcycles and 21 persons were arrested in connection with the latest ban on okada in six local governments areas in Lagos. He added that it was some of those 2,000 motorbikes that were crushed.
He revealed that the state government impounded over 5,000 motorcycles in the first quarter of this year.
He said, “This is supposed to send a signal to anybody who feels that despite the pronouncement of Mr Governor, they can run okada business in any part of Lagos included in the ban. This is going to be the fate of any okada that is apprehended and all the people who are riding okada, as well as those patronizing them.
“I can assure you that what we see today is what we will continue to see. In the first quarter of this year, 5,000 had been crushed like this. We have 2,000 being crushed here today. Our youths are mostly affected by the okada business. In the first four months of this year, we had 1,712 road accidents. Of that number, 767 were due to okada, and 45 per cent of these casualties were young people between the ages of 30 and 39.”