Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said stricter measures will be announced to stop the operations of commercial motorcyclists known as Okada riders in the state.
Sanwo-Olu, who spoke at security stakeholders meeting in Ikeja, said Okada riders pose a threat to security in Lagos State – the same reason the government barred Okada operation in six local government areas in February 2020.
“No society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The governor noted that the government would be announcing reforms in its transport sector, which will further make changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations.
“We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders are disregarding and flouting the restrictions we imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis,” Sanwo-Olu said.
“Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the State in the coming days.”
The governor disclosed that the government will be inaugurating the first and last mile buses designed to ply inner routes in Lagos State as an alternative to Okada riders operations next week.
He advised individuals who have taken up Okada riding for lack of jobs to take the opportunities in agriculture, wealth creation, poverty alleviation, and other government programmes.
Sanwo-Olu stated that the string of lawlessness daily witnessed from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required urgent action which includes their prohibition.
Lagos State police commissioner Hakeem Odumosu at the meeting disclosed that 320 commercial motorcycles were arrested in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 ammunition recovered between January and May.
In the same period, Odumosu said Okada accounted for 83 percent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos.
“The nuisance constituted by the Okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law-abiding citizens,” Odumosu said.
Sanwo-Olu, however, stated that Lagos State’s Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2019 (amended) will be fully implemented to enable the government to take over and demolish abandoned buildings and construction sites turned into safe haven for hoodlums and miscreants.
He said the government would strengthen its clean-up exercise of shanties and spots unapproved for settlement, but which had turned to hideouts for criminals.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that more personnel will be recruited into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LSNC) to strengthen intelligence gathering at the community level for security.