By Uche Amunike
The second phase of the Okada ban in Lagos state has just been extended to four more Local Government Areas and six LCDAs in the state.
This announcement was made by the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde. Speaking during a press briefing, Thursday, he explained that the additional Local Government Areas are Kosoko, Oshodi-Isolo, Shomolu and Mushin, while the affected LCDAs are Ikori-Isheri, Agbili-Ketu, Isolo, Ejigbo, Bariga and Odi-Olowo.
According to him, the Okada ban in Lagos State, which he said was to take effect on September 1, 2022 was necessary in order to add value and improve the peace and security of the residents.
His words: ‘The governor has approved the ban of Okada in another four LGAs and six LCDAs for the second phase of the total ban in addition to the ongoing ban in the six LGAs’.
Recall that the state government had earlier initiated the Okada ban in Lagos state across Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland and Apapa local councils. So far, they have restricted the movement of these commercial motorcyclists to 10, out of the 20 Local Government Areas in the state.
Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave strict instructions to the police to enforce the order without compromise and gave specific warnings that the Lagos state government would not condone any security formation that tampers with the new ban in its jurisdiction.
The ban was caused by the killing of David Imoh, a sound engineer that was lynched by a group of unruly Okada riders around the Lekki neighborhood after a scuffle between a rider and a passenger.
In the meantime, the Lagos state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho announced, Wednesday, that they are presently considering enforcing a total Okada ban in Lagos State. He made this known during a forum in Lagos where he was speaker. The forum was themed: ‘Okada Ban, What Next: Review of Enforcement and Compliance, Two Months After.’
At the forum, which was held to review the Okada ban in Lagos state, Omotosho stated that Lagos residents had been demanding for an expansion of the ban to other areas, considering the present anxiety prevalent in the country over security. He went on to state that another reason for organizing the forum was for stakeholders to analyze the government decision on the ban and decide on the next thing to do.
He reminded his audience of how some people were initially skeptical about the ban because they had not witnessed the chaos perpetrated by some of these Okada riders in the areas of health and security.
Hear him: ‘Residents were being robbed of their belongings by robbers who used motorcycles to flee scenes of crimes. Our public hospitals were being filled with victims of Okada accidents, doctors had their hands full at Emergency wards, and hoodlums who rode unregistered motorbikes posed great security risks.’
He reiterated that it was time for all stakeholders bring ideas on the next steps to be taken by the government on the Okada ban in Lagos state.