25th June, 2010
The police and the State Security Service (SSS) said they are battle ready to enforce the ban placed on commercial motorcyclists not to ply the expressway and carry pregnant women in Lagos State as from 1 July.
The Lagos State Government had earlier set 1 July, 2010 deadline for the enforcement of the ban on commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada, from plying the expressway, carry pregnant women and school children and other sundry offences.
P.M.NEWS gathered that the 1 July deadline may be extended to September to give executives of the Okada associations more time to educate their members on the restrictions.
At a meeting held between the state government, police and the SSS with executives of the various Okada associations, tricycle associations, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in Lagos, Nigeria, Okada riders were warned of the consequences of not complying with governmentâ€™s directive to stop plying the highway in the state.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Mr. Vincent Brown, warned Okada riders to abide by governmentâ€™s directive and stop plying the highway and dual carriageways across the state.
He disclosed that Okada riders who violate the order would be dealt with according to the law.
He also warned members of the Motorcycle Operators Association of Lagos State (MOALS), tricycle associations and others to stop the internal wrangling among them, saying that the police would not tolerate a situation where the peace of the state was disturbed.
Director, SSS, Lagos State, Mr. Olusegun Adegboye said the outfit would no longer tolerate a situation where many transport unions exist in the state, adding that all unions in the state should merge with either the NURTW or RTEAN according to governmentâ€™s white paper on transport unions.
He disclosed that the SSS would deal with Okada riders who break the law, adding that anything that would constitute a threat to security would be frowned at and dealt with accordingly.
According to him, the SSS might be forced to lock up defiant Okada riders who constitute themselves as a threat to the coming election and would not release them until after the election.
Special Adviser to the governor on Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, said government was ready to enforce the 1 July deadline on Okada operators, saying that sanity must be brought to the transport sector in the state.