Okada riders, particularly those from the northern part of Nigeria, have promised Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state massive votes to secure his second term ambition if he reverses the newly-imposed ban on them.
As reported on BizWatch Nigeria on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, Sanwo-Olu stated that effective from Wednesday, June 1, Okada riders would no longer be allowed to operate in six Local Governments and nine Local Government Development Areas.
The affected councils are -Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa.
Revealing why the ban on Okada riders’ operations is pertinent to restoring sanity in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu stated that his government “will not sit back and watch criminally-minded people use that mode of transportation (motorcycles) to perpetrate crimes and criminality in Lagos.
“Lives are being lost on a daily basis, preventable accidents are happening every day and the riders are not respecting any of our traffic laws.
“The situation has led to a complete breakdown of law and order. This ban has come to stay and we will not tolerate any weakness in enforcement.”
Advising the governor to reverse the ban, Seriki of Obalende, Saliu Waziri stated: “This issue has taken us a long time and we have been trying to put our members on the line.
“I want to advise the government to rethink its decision because Lagos can’t operate without bikes because of traffic. Government should register Okada riders in each local government to know those working in any local government. By so doing, the government would know who to pick when any issue arises.
“Some of our members stay here in Lagos and vote during elections. That should count for something because we contribute to votes during elections. The government should change the system of Okada riders not stop them.”
In a similar vein, the Seriki Hausa of Ajah, Ibrahim Ngoma, agreed with his Obalende counterpart that the government should consider the voting population of Hausa Okada riders in Lagos.
“Truth be told, Governor Sanwo-Olu has been understanding with Okada people, unlike Governor (Babatunde) Fashola.
“Okada members should obey the law while I appeal to Governor Sanwo-Olu to look into the matter and lift the ban before the election because the ban is affecting my people,” he added.