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Dozens arrested as okada, tricycle riders protested in Lagos over ban

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PROTEST in some parts of Lagos on Monday by operators of banned commercial motorcycles degenerated into chaos at Ikeja and Ijora when they resorted to attacking commercial buses, setting tires on fire and breaking glasses of private vehicles.

The situation, however, was brought under control by a detachment of men of the Nigeria Police Force deployed by the Lagos State Police Command.

Speaking with The ICIR, spokesperson, Lagos State Police Command, Bala Elkana disclosed that the mob of violent protesters mixed with street boys who took the opportunity to destroy properties and also loot shops had been apprehended.

Elkana, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) said police also impounded 188 motorcycles and arrested 40 persons for refusing to comply with the ban on motorcycles and tricycles in certain areas of the state while 24 suspects were arrested for disruption of peace during the protest.

The protest was a fall out of the ban on the operation of commercial motorcycles and tricycles in 15 local governments and major roads in the state by Lagos state government on January 26.

Monday’s violent protest by ‘Okada and Keke’ operators came few hours after some of the riders protested at Ijora area of the state.

A video of the protest shared on social media by a witness showed protesters setting up fire, throwing stones at commercial buses and vandalising private vehicles’ glasses.

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The state government on Monday also announced it would be releasing 65 buses and 14 water ferries to improve transportation with the state.

Before Monday’s protests, thousands of Okada riders working for Gokada and Max had on Friday protested at the Lagos state House of Assembly demanding for the reviewing of the ban.

Meanwhile, commuters have taken to social media to express their displeasures at the ban, for many were stranded at bus stops.

Many lamented that they had to trek long distances and pay higher transportation fares to their destinations since the ban commenced.

The Lagos State Government had on January 26 announced that it would commence the enforcement of the extant Transport Sector Reform Law 2018 from February 1.

The ban on operation of motorcycles and Tricycles in some local government areas and local council development areas include Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Lagos Mainland LG, Yaba LCDA, Surulere LGA, Itire-Ikate and Coker-Aguda LCDAs and Ikeja LGA, Onigbongbo and Ojodu LCDAs, Eti-Osa LGA, Ikoyi-Obalende and Iru/Victoria Island LCDAs, Lagos Island LGA and Lagos Island East LCDA.

The state government also listed highways, bridges and roads where the law also banned motorcycles and tricycles from operating in the state.

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