Sanwo-Olu begins moves to restrict Okada transport in Lagos

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is set to further limit the use of motorcycles or Okada as a means of transportation.

He did not announce an outright ban.

But he said that the first 500 of the 5,000 last mile buses proposed to replace the two-wheeled vehicles will be launched next week.

The Lagos governor spoke at the stakeholders’ meeting on security held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa, Ikeja.

According to the governor, clamping down on Okada was part of measures to ensure security of life and property of residents.

Many stakeholders who spoke at the meeting attributed the rising crime rates in the state to Okada riders and called for an outright ban.

Sanwo-Olu heeded their voices.

He told the meeting: “Nigeria’s ability to reach its full economic potential will be severely constrained in the absence of guaranteed security of lives and property in Lagos.

“In recent times, we have recorded a worrying trend of nefarious activities in the state; from kidnappings, armed robbery, cult clashes and violent assaults. We have tried, as a state, to respond in real time to the majority of these challenges by deploying a range of tactics from force-for-force, to carrot-and-stick to diplomacy.

“To advance our interests and objectives as a state, in the context of security, is to ensure that we contain and arrest of every form of aggression and crime that threatens the development, progress and growth of the state; and by so doing improve upon the welfare and quality of life of the people.

“For us in Lagos State, there is a direct correlation between security and long-lasting economic growth and development. We cannot speak of a 21st century megacity and the vision of a Greater Lagos if we are unable to assure and guarantee the security of our citizens and their properties.

“The resultant effect of the #ENDSARS mayhem has contributed in no small way to the severely fragmented security architecture that we have today.

“We have risen to the arduous challenge of arresting this general state of insecurity with all the resources we have at hand. Over the last couple of weeks and months, we have instituted a number of measures designed to curb activities that engender insecurity, all with a view to secure our state.

“We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders disregard and flout the restrictions imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis.

“We have also observed the ongoing war between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies.

“This propensity for lawlessness is not who we are as Lagosians. The Lagos State Road Traffic Law, enacted in 2012 to safeguard the lives of people and to maintain law and order on our roads, is the legal backbone for the restrictions put in place early last year and designed to curb the Okada menace.

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