Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in May 2022, banned the operation of commercial motorcycles on highways in six local government areas and local council development areas. The governor announced that the ban is “indefinite and total.”
The six local governments listed by the governor were Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa. The ban followed the February 2020 restriction placed on the activities of commercial motorcycles.
Sanwo-Olu said the government decided in line with the State’s Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018 to immediately address the chaos and menace created by the operations of Okada in the listed areas. He told the police to enforce the order without compromise.
Meanwhile, in August 2022, the governor extended the ban to four more local government areas and five local council development areas. The additional councils where the total Okada ban was pronounced included Kosofe Local Government, Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Shomolu Local Government, and Mushin Local Government. Others were Ikosi-Isherri LCDA, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, Isolo LCDA, Bariga LCDA, and Odi-Olowo LCDA.
With the ban, security agents went after defaulting motorcyclists, arresting them, and impounding their motorbikes, most of which were later crushed. Sanity suddenly returned to the roads.
Despite the total ban on the operations of commercial motorcycles on some major roads in Lagos State, some operators are devising ways of returning to the roads, Ajibade Omape writes
One year down the line, however, it appears some motorcyclists are already making a return to the roads, daring the government and security agents.
PUNCH reporter who visited some of the affected local governments and noticed the gradual return of the motorcyclists, noted they still operate with fear of being apprehended. It was also observed that in some of the places visited, security agents in mufti were the ones operating the commercial motorcycles with the confidence that the principle of esprit de corps would not allow their colleagues in uniform to arrest them. It was however noticed that compliance was still very high in some other areas.
The areas visited included Ikeja, Surulere, Oshodi, Mushin, Eti-Osa, and Lagos Island.
At the popular Computer Village area in Ikeja, commercial motorcyclists were seen operating unhindered when this reporter visited. Their huge presence was noticed around the new bridge in the area. They were seen conveying passengers from one end of the new bridge to the other and other locations close to the Computer Village.
None of them were willing to speak with our correspondent out of fear that he might be an undercover security operative.
On the popular Oba Akran Road in Ikeja, however, our correspondent noticed that no commercial motorcycles were operating on that axis. Although, he saw a few motorcyclists who sped past without stopping to pick up passengers.
“Bikes are very scarce in this area. Many of them won’t even stop to pick up passengers. Anytime they stop, they will charge you exorbitant fare and you will have no choice but to take a bus instead,” a resident simply identified as Adebimpe told our reporter.