Lagos State Govt issues 21-day ultimatum to motorcycle riders (Okada)

The Lagos State Government has given okada (motorcycle) riders in the state 21-day ultimatum to leave restricted routes.

The government met with okada unions on Thursday at the state secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, where the ultimatum was given.

The Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Tunji Bello, who chaired the meeting, said the government decided to give the riders 21-day ultimatum for the unions to sensitise their members to vacate the restricted routes before enforcement would begin.
He said. “We have held a meeting with the okada unions on what should be done. We had a meeting with security agencies before now on the resurgence of okada riders on the highways.

“They said they thought that the government had relaxed the law; there is no relaxation. We have decided to give them three weeks for enlightenment because we are not doing anything new; what we are doing is to re-enforce the law.”
Bello said when the law was introduced in 2012, okada accidents reduced.
He said, “We are not going back to that era again. For three weeks, they will educate their members on the need to leave the road. We need to save members of the public and the only way to do that is to restrict their movement and enforce our traffic law.”
The SSG stated that enforcement was relaxed during the last elections so that political parties would not capitalise on the enforcement for cheap political gains.
“We relaxed enforcement during the general elections because we didn’t want crisis and violence. We needed to avoid crisis at that time so that political parties would not capitalise on it. The enforcement will be in full force after three weeks. This is a law already in place and it has to be obeyed,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Oluseyi Coker, said the law restricting okada riders from major roads was still in force as the government had not suspended it.
He said, “We are doing this so that when we start enforcement, they will not say government did not caution them. The violation is much and we want the unions to educate their members.

“The Lagos State Government will do it right. We assure the residents that there will be normalcy on the road.”
Credit: Sesan Olufowobi/Punch