7th December, 2011
Dozens of commercial motorcyclists, a.k.a. Okada riders yesterday took to the streets at PWD, Oshodi to protest the clampdown on their operations by the Lagos State government.
The protesters blocked a portion of the Agege Motor Road at PWD Bus Stop in front of Sam Ethinam Air Force Base. They made bornfires on the road and disrupted traffic.
Attempts by officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA and policemen to dislodge them initially was resisted by the riders who also blocked the road with their motorcycles.
They were, however, subdued by the combined force of LASTMA officials, policemen from Area â€˜Fâ€™, Ikeja and Air Force officers.
Some of the Okada riders who spoke with P.M.NEWS condemned attempts by the Lagos State government to ban their operations in the state, adding that massive unemployment forced them into the business.
â€œGovernment is not fair to us at all. What do they want us to eat? How do we take care of our families when they said we cannot work in Lagos? This is unfair and we are going to resist this,â€ an Okada rider who identified himself as Danlami Mohammed told P.M.NEWS.
Another rider who gave his name as Ndubusi explained that the directive banning them from operating on the expressroad was punitive. â€œWhere u wan go for Lagos wey you no go pass express?â€ the rider asked and asked Governor Fashola to withdraw the directive for peace to reign in Lagos.
â€” Idowu Ogunleye