Lagos backs down on Okada, tricycle menace


Lagos government announces fresh route ban, restrictions against Okada, Keke Marwa

Sanwo-Olu, okada riders, tricycle rider

Despite reeling out frightening statistics on okada and tricycles menace, the Lagos State Government on Monday said it will not be taking definitive action against illegal operations of commercial motorcycles and tricycles on restricted routes across the State.

The state government had on Sunday said 200 okada accidents were recorded in the state on monthly basis, with 150 people killed in tricycles accidents in the last four years.

However, after a four-hour Security Council meeting chaired by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and attended by all commanders of security agencies in the State, on Monday, the government backed down on definite action on okada and tricycles.

Briefing State House reporters after the meeting, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said the Government’s delayed action against restriction of motorcycles and tricycles was informed by the need to achieve a generally acceptable solution to the menace.

Omotoso disclosed that relevant parties and stakeholders had reached out to the Government with suggestions and representation that could be adopted to proffer a win-win solution on the matter.

The Security Council, the Commissioner said, is currently considering the suggestions and recommendations submitted to the Government before coming up with definite plans on the Okada menace.

He said: “We have just concluded our routine security meeting, during which issue of Okada and tricycles was discussed exhaustively. For now, no major decision will be taken on the matter. There are several factors for this development, but the main reason is to reckon with various opinions expressed by stakeholders.

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“So many people have made representations to the Government concerning commercial motorcycles and tricycles, including human rights groups, unionists and traders. They came up with many reasonable observations; all their views have been collated and are being considered.

“We feel it would not be good enough for the Government to make final decision on the matter without considering the opinions of the stakeholders. That would be against the spirit of democracy for which the Sanwo-Olu administration stands.”

Decisions to be taken on the matter, the Commissioner said, will reflect the views of all stakeholders and wishes of concerned residents.

L-R: Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN; Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji; Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso and his counterpart for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, during a press briefing on Advocacy and Enforcement of Traffic Law in the State, at the Lagos Hosue, Alausa, Ikeja, on Monday, January 13, 2020.

Omotoso said security of lives of Lagos residents and safety of visitors remained paramount to the Government, stressing that the Sanwo-Olu administration would not compromise in this regard.

According to the Commissioner, the ongoing enforcement of the extant Traffic Laws and Okada restriction will go on, pending the final decisions of the Security Council. He added that advocacy was currently on-going to sensitise riders of Okada and tricycles on the need to obey traffic laws.

At the briefing, include the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo, and Commissioner for Transport, Dr. Fredric Oladehinde.