EFFECTIVE, FEBRUARY 1, 2020, commercial motorcycles – Okadas, and tricycles operators, Keke Napep, will be restricted to some routes and local government areas and highways in Lagos State. Enforcement of the ban would commence same date.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s Senior Special Assistant on New Media, Jubril Gawat, tweeted this on Monday.
BREAKING NEWS: The Lagos State Government has banned the activities of Commercial Motorcycles (Okada) & Tricycles (Keke) in some LGAs in the State: Apapa, L/Mainland, Surulere, Eti Osa, L/Island, Ikeja effective from Feb 1, 2020. #ForAGreaterLagos @Riddwane @gbenga_omo.
This is not the first time Lagosians are faced with the ban on commercial motorcycles, Okadas, on major roads in the state, by Lagos State government. Babatunde Fashola, during his administration as governor, signed stringent traffic laws banning Okada on some routes in Lagos State.
Following enactment of Fashola’s “Okada Law”, thousands of motorcycles, Okadas, were seized by law enforcement officials, and perhaps, destroyed by the government. New opportunity for extortion, opened up to enrich law enforcement agents. Worse, local government officials were arresting Okada riders in Lagos State, and still arrest Okada and Tricycle riders today.
Okada riders in Lagos and other states of the federation are certificated professionals and graduates. In the absence of legitimate employments, enabling environment to undertake small and medium scale businesses, the choice of riding Okadas, came on hand to cater for their families and meet other obligations.
Lagos population has continued to be teaming. Put at over 20 million people, the seize of some countries in Africa. How would such a population do without motorcycles, Okadas, as means of transportation? Lagos State government BRT buses are grossly limited to serve the population. Tricycles, Keke Napep and Danfo buses have been supportive.
The argument has been the regulation of the excesses of the operators of Okadas and Keke Napep. Then, Lagos State government needs efficient regulatory framework, and focus on enforcement of “friendly and human faced” laws. Perhaps, this will let Okada riders and Keke Napep operators be in Lagos State.