Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola Personally Arrests Four Okada Riders For Traffic Violation

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, personally arrested four commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada riders, at Ijora-Apapa Link Bridge and Ikorodu Road for riding against traffic.
He also warned Okada riders to desist from plying highways and flagrant violation of the state traffic rules and regulations. This came as the state Commissioner for the Environment and his Transportation counterpart, Mr Tunji Bello and Mr. Kayode Opeifa, read the riot act to Okada operators in the state as part of measures to rid the state of environmental/transportation nuisance.

Fashola made the arrest while returning from the commissioning of 60 housing units at Apapa Local Government Area, constructed by the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, LSDPC, and named in honour of Senator H.A.B. Fashinro.

The governor had earlier at the commissioning of the housing scheme, said the situation of traffic in the state, especially Apapa road, had been worsened by illegal activities of Okada riders, trailer and tanker drivers operating at Apapa sea port. He said: “The Okada riders who ply the roads in Apapa do not do so at will but it is the residents of Apapa who patronise them. As I have said to all those who cared to listen, if Okada is a problem to you, stop patronising them because it is a business and if you do not patronise them, they will stop the business.” 

Also, speaking at the media briefing, Bello said the menace of Okada riders had become worrisome, adding that this prompted the state government to ban their operations in virtually all the roads in the state. He listed the offences of motorcycle operators to include riding without the use of crash helmets, riding on the medians, kerbs and walkways, disobedience of traffic rules and regulations, traffic signal lights, plying the highways and working in prohibited areas even at restricted time, the operators have not changed from these illegal acts.

Bello said: “We wish to emphatically state that motorcycles popularly known as Okada is not an approved means of commercial public transportation in Lagos State. The Lagos State Government more than any other state government, has been very tolerant of the menace posed by its operation as a means for socio economic reasons.

“In view of this, the state government warned that any Okada rider caught carrying Pregnant Women, School age Children; women with children on their back will be prosecuted, “as the state government is ready to apply non-custodian sentences by making offenders to wash public toilets in the full glare of the media. 

“The Law Enforcement Agents especially Lagos State Transport Management Agency, LASTMA, Kick Against Indiscipline, KAI and the Nigeria Police have been directed to ensure zero tolerance. Government is seriously disturbed with the rate at which motorcycle operators flagrantly disobey the law and have no regard for the safety of other road users.”