… As Police finger riders in most crimes
The Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Shotobi, has once again ignited the clamour for the ban of Okada as commercial means of transportation in Lagos State if the war against insecurity must be won.
He insisted that now is the time to implement the law banning their operations.
The monarch was a panelist at the stakeholders’ meeting on security holding at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa, Ikeja.
He said: “Now is the time to ban the activities of Okada riders. I have often told the governor that the right time might not come if we keep waiting for alternatives which might take forever; now is the time to stop the menace of Okada riders who are very lawless.”
State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Stephen Adegbite, who corroborated Shotobi, said Okada and Keke NAPEP should not be part of the megacity.
According to him, the activities of transport unions must also be checked if the State must secure residents and their property.
The cleric also admonished those agitating for secession to desist from such, saying the solution to Nigeria’s problems were honesty, discipline, sincerity and hard work.
He said: “Okada and Keke NAPEP should be banned; they cannot be part of the megacity. I also call on those agitating for secession to desist as Nigeria remains better together. The solutions to our problems are not to break away, but honesty hard work, sincerity, discipline. Nigerians should do away with lawlessness and obey rules and regulations which are made to ensure our safety.”
Other panelists also advocated a ban on the activities of Okada riders.
According to them, most Okada riders who use the avenue to perpetuate crime are not Nigerians.
Apparently giving fillip to the clamour to ban Okada, the Commissioners of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, said statistics have shown that armed hoodlums who operate on motorcycles or Okada, are responsible for the bulk of crimes.
Odumosu made the submission during the stakeholders’ meeting in Ikeja.
He said hoodlums have found motorcycles as a veritable means of escape from the scenes of crime.
According to him, crime reports from the field in the last five months have shown that the hoodlums are responsible for armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing, among others.
”It has also been established that Okadas are being illegally used as a veritable means of conveying hard drugs from one point to another.
“The consequences of spreading of hard drugs and its consumption are better imagined than said.”
The police chief said traffic robbery, carjacking, movement of arms and cash-snatching from bank customers had been traced to armed hoodlums who operate on Okada.
Odumosu said that a large section of Lagos populace had come to regard commercial motorcycles as a necessary evil, hence government should take more drastic measures against their notoriety.
He said that in the five months under review (January to May 9), 192 Okada riders had died from 280 accidents.
The CP said that the number of deaths recorded in road accidents and crime committed with the use of Okada across the state, had assumed a worrisome dimension as the statistics had continued to rise.
He said available record in the command revealed that in January 90 Okada accidents occurred; February (76), March (101), April (84) while in May till date 34 Okada accidents had been recorded.
He said out of the 192 deaths, February recorded 37 cases of deaths, March had 58 fatality cases while 14 died within 7 days in May.
Odumosu said that Okada accidents on the roads were mostly caused by recklessness and lawlessness of the riders.
He said that it was common sight in Lagos metropolis to see Okada operators ride recklessly on highways, facing oncoming road users, especially during peak periods.
He urged the state government to provide further stringent measures that would curtail the excesses of commercial motorcycle operators.