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Turmoil in Lagos as okada riders confront police

Police impounded over 200 motorcycles - Lagos Command PPRO

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THERE has been turmoil today in the Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State as riders of commercial motorcycle, otherwise known as okada, confronted the police as the security operatives sought to enforce the law regulating the operation of the motorcyclists.

This is coming less than 24 hours after the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu, announced a total ban on the operations of commercial motorcycles in some local government areas in the state with effect from June 1, 2022.

The local governments and local council development areas the ban affects are Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Mainland, Lagos Island and Apapa.


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There has been, before Sanwo-Olu’s new decision yesterday, an extant law regulating the operations of the okada riders. The law includes a provision that bans the riders from riding the wrong way, and another that prevents them from operating on certain roads, expressways, bridges and flyovers.

But the law has existed only on paper as the riders, in their thousands, flout the provisions with impunity.

The ICIR gathered that today’s clash between the police and the okada riders in the Ojo local government axis of the Mile 2 – Badagry expressway arose when the police attempted to arrest some riders that had taken the wrong way.

It was learnt that the riders mobilised themselves to attack a police station, to where the police had taken some erring motorcyclists, with an attempt to free their colleagues. The riders then began pelting the policemen with stones and stones, as the security operatives fired back with tear gas.

The confrontation degenerated into chaos in the areas, causing gridlock on the expressway, from the Ojo barracks and Iyana Iba areas to Okokomaiko. Many commuters were consequently stranded on the expressway.

A viral video obtained on Thursday, May 19, 2022 by The ICIR showed the embittered motorcycle operators fighting the police.

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The okada riders were seen chasing the police with sticks, while the men of the force cowered with their guns, retreating. Two persons were feared dead, although the Lagos police Command maintained there was no casualty.

The Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Police Command, Superintendent Benjamin Hundeyin, confirming the incident in a telephone interview with The ICIR, said, “Police officers were there to enforce the ban on okada and they impounded over 200 motorcycles. The few motorcycle riders that chose to be confrontational and unruly were arrested. There is no record of casualties, any injured or dead.”

Okada riders had allegedly killed a sound engineer, David Imoh, last week in the Lekki axis of the state over N100. 

 

 

Author profile

Experienced Business reporter seeking the truth and upholding justice. Covered capital markets, aviation, maritime, road and rail, as well as economy. Email tips to jolaoluwa@icirnigeria.org. Follow on Twitter @theminentmuyiwa and on Instagram @Hollumuyiwah.

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