Okada, tricycle riders, police clash in Lagos over ban

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Following the implementation of commercial motorcyclists and tricycle ban in Lagos State which is already taking its toll on motorcycle operators and Lagos commuters who spend long hours at different bus stops across the state waiting for vehicles to get to their destinations, the Okada riders come out en mass to protest against the ban.

During the protest in Ijora area of the state, the riders reportedly clashed with police officers when the police officers attempted to stop the protest embarked upon by the riders.

During the protest, which started around 08.21 am, the protesters blocked the road, burning tyres while some others were attacking bus drivers and passengers, some went as far as breaking the glasses of the buses and injuring passengers.

Before the Monday protest, thousands of motorcycle riders working for Gokada and Max had on Friday protested at the Lagos State House of Assembly.

The riders, who carried placards with different inscriptions, demanded the suspension of the planned ban on motorcycle and tricycle riders in 15 local council areas of the state. The riders lamented that the ban would not only take their means of livelihood but also render them jobless.

Meanwhile, commuters have lamented that they were stranded at Bus Stops, 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 enforcement of the extant Transport Sector Reform Law 2018 from February 1.

The law banned the operation of motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, and Tricycles in some Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas.

They include Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Lagos Mainland LG, Yaba LCDA, Surulere LGA, Itire-Ikate and Coker-Aguda LCDAs and Ikeja LGA, Others are 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.

Barely 24 hours after the implementation of the law, Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, said the compliance level on the ban of the commercial motorcycle and tricycle was over 90 per cent.

The Lagos State Police Command also said it had impounded 188 motorcycles and 78 tricycles as well as arrested 40 persons for refusing to comply with the ban on motorcycles and tricycles in certain areas by the state government.