Home News Lagos re-introduces okada ban in major areas 1st June

Lagos re-introduces okada ban in major areas 1st June

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From 1st June – 14 days away – the Lagos State Government will no longer tolerate commercial motorcycles (popular known as okada) on all highways across six Local Government Areas (LGAs) and nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).

The renewed ban followed recent public outcry and condemnation of the alleged murder of a sound engineer, simply identified as David, by okada riders in Lekki, Lagos last weekend.

While meeting with the state’s Commissioner of Police Abiodun Alabi, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers at the State House in Alausa-Ikeja on Wednesday,  Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu directed security operatives to enforce the total ban of okada in Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa LGAs, and all the LCDAs under those LGAs.

From left: Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso; Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Lagos State Commissioner of Police Abiodun Alabi; and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Tayo Ayinde, during a security meeting on the okada ban on Wednesday

The fresh okada ban is a throwback to the 1st February 2020 restriction placed on both okada and keke in six LGAs, nine LCDAs and 10 major highways across the state. The operators were also banned from plying 40 bridges and flyovers across the state.

But the law was largely observed in the breach during the intervening period of over two years, generating protests by even users of the banned transport alternatives.

This time, keke has been spared from the ban.

Sanwo-Olu said today that the government took the decision in line with its Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018 to immediately address the chaos and menace created by operations of okada in the listed areas.

He instructed the Police to enforce the order without compromise, sternly warning that the state government would not condone any security formation that relaxes the new ban in its jurisdiction.

He said: “After critical review of our restriction on okada activities in the first six Local Government Areas where we restricted them on 1st February 2020, we have seen that the menace has not abated. We are now directing a total ban on okada activities across the highways and bridges within these six Local Government and their Local Council Development Areas, effective from 1st June 2022.

“This is a phased ban we are embarking on this period, and we expect that within the short while when this ban will be enforced, okada riders in other places where their activities are yet to be banned can find something else to do. We have given the notice now and we expect all commercial motorcycles plying the routes in the listed councils and areas to vacate the highways before enforcement begins. The enforcement will be total”.

Sanwo-Olu advised residents patronising okada riders on highways to embrace the alternative transport schemes already provided by the government to plan their journey, explaining that the government had provided Last Mile Buses, medium-capacity and high-capacity buses in the affected areas for the convenience of commuters.

The Governor insisted that okada riding on the highways remained unsafe and would no longer be tolerated. He said the state government had been ramping up construction work on its two rail line projects to further increase the choices of commuting for residents.

He said: “We have provided Last Mile buses in the affected areas; they are working and effective. We also have medium-capacity buses and high-capacity buses working in these areas. Before the end of the year, we are also bringing the rail along these corridors with their terminals. We have provided jetties as well to provide alternatives.

“We will not sit back and watch criminally-minded people use that mode of transportation (motorcycles) to perpetrate crimes and criminality in Lagos. Lives are being lost on a daily basis, preventable accidents are happening every day and the riders are not respecting any of our traffic laws. The situation has led to a complete breakdown of law and order. This ban has come to stay and we will not tolerate any weakness in enforcement”.

Police Commissioner Alabi immediately directed his men to ensure complete enforcement of the Governor’s order.

The renewed clamour for the ban on okada trailed last weekend’s killing of David allegedly by okada riders in Lekki, Lagos.

He was allegedly beaten and set ablaze by suspected motorcyclists in the Admiralty Road of the choice area.

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