The seizure of commercial motorcycles by the Lagos State Task Force will continue, despite the June 1 deadline issued by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for them to leave six local government areas, the state government explained on Thursday.
The State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, disclosed this in a statement.
The six local governments are: Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Apapa and Surulere.
The statement noted that the deadline does not invalidate the provisions of the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018, which states that “no persons shall ride, drive or propel a motorcycle or tricycle on a major highway within the State, and any person in contravention of this provision commits an offence,” and would be made to face the wrath of the law.
The Lagos State Task Force, led by CSP Shola Jejeloye, has continued to enforce the law.
“It seized 238 motorcycles in Lekki on Tuesday and Wednesday. In Iba on Lagos-Badagry Expressway, where it was violently resisted today, the Task Force seized 195 motorcycles. The riders were operating on highways and bridges in flagrant disobedience of the law because, according to them, they are free to ply unauthorized routes till June 1.
“This is wrong. The February 1, 2020 directive has not been reversed. The enforcement was weakened by COVID-19, which affected all areas of life. Now, the action is being reinforced.
“The government praises Lagosians who have come out to support the ban on commercial motorcycles in the six local government areas, which Governor Sanwo-Olu has described as the “first phase” of the action triggered by safety and security concerns,” it added.
Meanwhile, the Lekki Phase 1 Residents Association (LERA) has also announced ban on commercial motorcycle operators, otherwise known as Okada riders, in the area.
The Chairman of LERA, Mr Yomi Idowu at a press briefing on Thursday, appealed to the Lagos State Government to enforce the law banning Okada riders in the state.
Idowu also called on the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and the New Towns Development Authority (NTDA) to flush out hoodlums and miscreants in uncompleted buildings within the community.
“Indeed, Okada has been an environmental nuisance and many residents have had their fair share of their sheer recklessness. It is an obvious fact that security within Lekki Phase I has deteriorated.
“It is of utmost importance that we all take a collective stance and formulate joint initiatives to avert a total exposure to imminent security threats to the lives and assets of our residents,” he stated.
He described the killing of the sound engineer, David Imoh in Lekki as dastardly, animalistic and senseless.
“Intelligence report reaching us is that following the raid on Okada riders and subsequent seizure of their bikes in Lekki Phase 1 by officials of Lagos State Taskforce, the riders, who believe the action was instigated by Lekki residents, are planning to attack the residents,” he said.
He described as worrisome the menace of Okada riders which recently led to bloody robbery incidents, kidnappings, assassinations and ritual killings to name a few.
A member of the Board of Trustees, Chief Emeka Nweze said those who patronise the ‘okada riders’ are not homeowners, rather domestic workers and people working on sites.
Nweze called on the state government to ensure those who have undeveloped properties start working on them immediately or have them confiscated.