Speaking with journalists at the Olusosun refuse dump site in Ojota, the State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni on Monday, said the government will start crushing and recycling over 4,000 impounded commercial motorcycles, (aka Okada) in line with the provisions of the State Traffic Law of 2012. Owoseni said the recent restriction on Okadas was due to the government’s resolve to fight security concerns posed by criminal operators, adding that criminals habitually use okada to perpetrate crime and easily get away from the scene of the crime.
“It would not be one off. So far, we have impounded about 500 motorcycles since we started our renewed efforts and we now have a total of about 4,000 bikes ready to be crushed. The law made provisions on how those motorcycles should be handled and the law also made provision on how to handle those that have flouted the law itself.
“The operators of the commercial motorcycles and those patronizing them, with time, you will get to see the Mobile Court going around to try some of those that have been arrested. What we are saying here is that we want people in Lagos to know that there is a law and the law is made for a purpose and if all of us obey the law and conform, the better for us.”
Owoseni said due to the constant challenges that prevent government officials to properly enforce the law, the state government is considering to completely ban Okada activities in some areas like Lekki and Victoria Island.
“The Okada riders, no doubt, have been a sort of menace. They go into the road and flout the laws with impunity. When they get to where you have the traffic lights, they behave as if it is not meant for them and combine with that is the way the criminal elements put the motorcycles to either snatch money or use them as a getaway in some areas and the same law says that citizens should not patronize commercial motorcycles on prohibited routes.
“Not only that, the law says that by 8 p.m., they should not be on the road and so the message we are passing is that this is not going to be a one-off thing, we will continue and sustain it. We just like to appeal to people to stop patronizing Okada plying restricted routes,” Owoseni said.
Corroborating him, Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Olanrewaju Elegushi said the administration of Ambode recently warned all commercial motorcycles to steer clear of restricted routes as the clampdown on defaulters would be total.
“We have an enforcement unit led by the Commissioner of Police, the Task Force on Environmental and Other Special Offences, the Divisional Police Officers and the Area Commanders. They have started enforcement and we came to see how far they have gone,” Elegushi said.