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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a complete ban on the operations of commercial motorcycles, commonly known as Okada, in Lekki and elsewhere.

At a meeting on Wednesday, he said the directive would come into effect on June 1, 2022 and would affect six local government areas (LGAs) and nine local council development areas (LCDAs) in the state.

According to him, okada drivers will not be allowed to use the highways in these areas, which include Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland and Apapa.

The governor’s action follows the growing threat and nuisance posed by commercial motorcycles in the state, including the lynching of a sound engineer, Mr. David Imoh, in the Lekki area of ​​the state la last week.

This is not the first time that Mr Sanwo-Olu has restricted the operations of commercial motorcycles as in February 2020, he banned Okada’s operations in the state.

During the meeting with the Commissioner of Police, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) at the State House in Alausa today, the Governor said the state government will not tolerate any security training which relaxes the new ban in its jurisdiction.

“After a critical review of our restrictions on Okada activities in the first six local government areas where we restricted them on February 1, 2020, we found that the threat has not diminished. We are now ordering a complete ban on Okada activities on highways and bridges within these six local governments and their local council development areas, effective June 1, 2022.

“This is a phased ban in which we are entering this period, and we expect that in the short time that this ban will be enforced, Okada runners in other places where their activities will not are not yet prohibited may find something else to do We have given the notice now and expect all commercial motorbikes using the routes in the listed councils and areas to leave the highways before enforcement begins. Enforcement will be total,” he said.

Mr. Sanwo-Olu advised residents frequenting Okada highway users to adopt the alternative transport schemes already provided by the government to plan their trip.

He said the government has provided last mile, medium capacity and high capacity buses in the affected areas for the convenience of commuters.

The governor insisted that Okada’s driving on the highways remained dangerous and would no longer be tolerated, noting that the state government had stepped up construction work on its two rail line projects to further increase choices. travel for residents.

“We have provided last mile buses in the affected areas; they work and are effective. We also have medium capacity buses and high capacity buses working in these areas. By the end of the year, we will also bring rail to these corridors with their terminals. We have also provided jetties to provide alternatives.

“We are not going to sit idly by and watch criminally minded people use this mode of transport (motorbikes) to carry out crimes and criminality in Lagos.

“Lives are lost every day, preventable accidents happen every day and drivers are disobeying any of our traffic rules. The situation has led to a complete breakdown of law and order. This ban has come to stay and we will not tolerate any weakness in enforcement,” he said.

The police commissioner, Mr. Abiodun Alabi, ordered his men to ensure the full application of the governor’s decree in the communes and listed areas.