Outright condemnation and demand for justice have trailed the killing of a sound engineer, simply identified as David, by commercial motorcycle (popular known as okada) riders in Lekki, Lagos.
But the Lagos State Government, through its Information and Strategy Commissioner, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, has assured that justice would not only be done, but that the state has a zero tolerance for savagery.
David was allegedly beaten and set ablaze by suspected motorcyclists in the Admiralty Road area of Lekki on Sunday.
The victim’s colleagues – Frank, a saxophonist, and Philip, a keyboardist – boarded a motorcycle to an event venue on Admiralty Way, Lekki, where David was setting up for a show.
The motorcyclist was said to have conveyed the duo to the destination when an argument bordering on N100 ensued between the motorcyclist and David’s friends.
The argument was said to have degenerated into a fight, as the motorcyclist sought the support of other motorcyclists, who intervened in the matter.
While the motorcyclists allegedly attacked Frank and Philip, David was alerted to the incident. And he rushed to the scene to rescue his friends.
But the motorcyclists allegedly seized and beat him till he became unconscious. He was then reportedly set ablaze by the mob.
On his verified Twist handle, Omotoso wrote: “We condemn and will not condone any kind of jungle justice, no matter who the perpetrators are.
“The Government asks residents to remain calm as the Police continue to investigate the matter. Lagos has no room for savagery and anybody found to have been involved in this barbarism will surely face the law.
“The Government will address the root cause of this and similar incidents, which have caused public anxiety”.
Angry reactions have followed the incident, which came just as the nation was yet to recover from the protest over mob killing of a student in Sokoto State, Deborah Samuel.
Responding on Omotoso’s tread, @freshodut wrote: “No time for any regulation, we want total BAN. We beg you Mr Omotoso in the name of God, help us beg our amiable governor that, that is what we want”.
Also Ochechealabi (@Ocheche) contributed: “You guys should put a stop to Okada in Lagos”.
Nigerians, while condemning the incident, called for the arrest and prosecution of the culprits.
Effective from 1st February 2020, the state government had outlawed okada and tricycles (well known as keke NAPEP) in six Local Government Areas, nine Local Council Development Areas and 10 major highways across the state.
The government also banned okada and keke from plying 40 bridges and flyovers across the state.
It directed security operatives to embark on a total enforcement to “immediately address the chaos and disorderliness created by illegal operations of okada and tricycle riders in restricted areas”.
But the law has been observed more in the breach since then, generating protests by even users of the banned transport alternatives.