The Lagos state government has insisted that the recent ban on commercial motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles (Keke) in congested roads in the state will not be reversed.
Operations of the okada men have been limited in 6 local governments, and state government officials have revealed that they cannot understand what the rants over the ban have been all about.
According to the state government, not all areas are affected and the people affected by this restriction are even less than 4 million of the entire population.
The state added that they cannot just sit back and allow the insecurity and accidents caused by these motorcycles to continue.
Director of Social Media in the office of the State Governor, Deji Balogun had this to say recently, “The local government areas and council development areas affected by the ban are in Lagos central senatorial district, Lagos mainland, Surulere, Apapa and Eti-Osa which encompasses VGC and all the other areas on the Island. These are so called elitist areas.”
“The real population of Lagos is in Lagos West. And the only local government affected by the restriction in Lagos West is Ikeja. Lagos West represents comfortably 60 percent of Lagos state in terms of landmass and population. If you look at Alimosho, Agege, Oshodi, Isolo, Ajeromi Ifelodun, Ifako Ijaiye, that’s where the population is and they aren’t affected.
“Lagos East, which is a cultural area encompassing Ikorodu, Epe, Ibeju-Lekki etc, is not affected. One is beginning to wonder how 12 percent..the population of Lagos at the moment is 27 million..how 12 percent of the city is complaining the most. The people affected by this restriction are less than 4 million.
“If individual associations are banning the okada and the state government is enforcing the restriction in just six local government areas, what is the hullabaloo about?”
“In the next couple of days, I’m confident that apart from inter-modal transport, services would have increased. The blue line and red line would soon be completed. The blue line runs from Okokomaiko to Marina. Small buses that will be able to navigate the nooks and crannies will soon come in. We just launched the Lagos state ferry services and rolled out brand new mass transit buses.
“No responsible government will sit back and allow the large scale of insecurity and accidents perpetrated by the okada to continue.
“Do you know that because of the economic drawback occasioned by their nefarious activities, you are not yet enjoying the best of mass transit? There is a bus intelligence system that is supposed to come with it. You are supposed to stand at the bus stop and be able to tell when the next Iyana Ipaja bus is coming. Why do you think they built the Oshodi interchange?”
Sina Thopre who is a Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of Information, added, “There is no going back on the okada restriction…there is no going back on plans for a ‘Smart Lagos’. We have more buses that will soon be cleared from the ports as alternatives.”
“The law is that you cannot use any commercial bike, no matter the cubic centimeter capacity. This is a ban on commercial bikes of whatever hue.”