Okada riders leave Lagos as police enforce ban

Commercial motorcyclists popularly known as okada riders have started leaving Lagos, as enforcement of ban on motorcycle and tricycle operations in major areas of the state took effect on Saturday.

Many okada riders have already surrendered to the enforcement by relocating from Lagos with their motorcycles.

A resident of Ishaga Close, Itire, Yusuf Salau, told Sunday PUNCH that a number of motorcyclists left Igbeyin Adun Street, Ishaga, around 6am on Saturday in two trucks loaded with their motorcycles as majority of them are not from Lagos.

An okada rider, Salisu Garuba, from Nasarawa State, said he just bought his motorcycle and he did not want to lose it to the police.
The state government had on Monday proscribed the operations of okada and tricycle riders in Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Lagos Mainland LGA, Yaba LCDA, Surulere LGA, Itire-Ikate LCDA, and Coker-Aguda LCDA.

Others are Ikeja LGA, Onigbongbo LCDA, Ojodu LCDA, Eti-Osa LGA, Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA, Iru-Victoria Island LCDA, Lagos Island LGA and Lagos Island East LCDA, a ban which covered 2,000 routes, including major roads, expressways and bridges.

Meanwhile, stranded commuters around the state have expressed discomfort caused by the ban which affects six local governments and nine local council development areas of the state.

“The riders complied even though there were pockets of disobedience. We just started today (Saturday). We will not relent. We arrested seven tricycles and three motorcycles but some police divisions would still bring (seized motorcycles and tricycles) to our office.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Bala Elkana, did not pick calls to his mobile and had yet to reply to a text message sent to him on the enforcement as of press time.

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