Regulate, don’t ban okada, Ambode’s commissioner tells Sanwo-Olu

Dr AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef, a Commissioner for Home Affairs in Lagos State under the administration of Akinwunmi Ambode, has appealed to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu not to ban commercial motorcycle operators (okada) and tricycle (keke) in the state.

AbdulLateef made the appeal on his verified Facebook page, @Hon.DrAbdulHakeemAbdulLateef, on Monday, amid continuous protests and complaints in the state.

The former commissioner urged Sanwo-Olu to regulate motorcycle and tricycle operators instead of banning them outrightly.

He said banning them would amount to joblessness and an increase in crime rate in the state.

He posted, “I appeal to the Lagos State Governor to regulate Okada and Keke. Please, don’t ban them. Too many people are jobless and it breeds crime!”

Reacting to the former commissioner’s post, commenters also called on Sanwo-Olu to review the ban.

One of them, Olatek Abiola, said, “If they ban them, they should give us replacement even before now.”

“Lagos State Government subjected her citizens into untold hardship. Their priority should lean on traffic congestion regulation rather than putting a hurt to a means of common men from one place to another. He should embark on other policies that will yield a positive outcome like his Oyo State counterpart,” Kashitu Usman said.

The government made the wrong decision on this. They should have regulated their operation more,” another user, Lawal Ajiboye, added.

Islamiyat Damilola also said, “Not only lack of jobs, sir. The stress the citizen will go through is something that shouldn’t be taking for granted. There are limited places that buses can reach and it is only Keke and Okada that can reach there.”

Olatunji Olalekan stated that “This is a way of humiliating the poor masses and rubbing it on their faces, that’s the only surviving means for these people and you took it away with just like, that is not to talk of the hardship it’ll play on the residents, who are not viable enough to own a car.”

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 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.’

Written by Sodiq Oyeleke, published on Punch Newspapers