By Julie Adams
A group, Lagos Progressive Vanguard has thrown its weight behind the ban of okada in Lagos State by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, saying the use of okada is not befitting Lagos’ mega city status.
Speaking through their Convener, Seyi Bamigbade, the group called for calm and urged Lagosians to align with Governor Sanwo-Olu’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda aimed at ensuring the state becomes Africa’s modern mega-city city.
Bamigbade recalled that former governor of the state, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, now Minister for Works and Housing equally banned their operations in year 2012.
According to him, a good number of Lagosians and commuters are of the view that okada should no longer be used for transportation in the state
Bamigbade said, ‘’some residents of Lagos state who patronise okada riders have met untimely death due to the reckless manner in which the motorcycle riders manoeuvre major highways and disobey traffic laws
‘’Neither unemployment nor the present economic crunch in Nigeria should be used as an excuse not to say good bye to okada in Lagos; one of the most important factors which should be taken into consideration, when driving or riding on any road is the safety of the people being transported.
‘’The safety of lives, goods and commodities being conveyed from one destination to another, is highly important. It does not make any sense, when a commuter or a passenger is afraid he or she could sustain serious injury or other body deformities, just because the object for transportation exposes him or her to a high level of risk.’’
He added that they are supporting okada’s ban in Lagos because over 90 per cent of the riders apart from being reckless are not Nigerians but illegal migrants, saying the belief in some quarters that the ban on okada might increase the rate of crime in Lagos is not germane enough to live with the risks associated with it.
Bamigbade pointed out that what their group and majority of Lagosians want is an outright ban on okada in all the nooks and crannies of the state because Okada has done more harm to the safety of commuters than good.
He said “Lagosians moved from one part of the state to the other, before the gradual influx of okada into the state in the early 1990s. Anyone who is sincere with himself or herself and has used okada severally for transport and is still alive, would have sustained one form of injury or the other and will also attest to the fact that okada should be banned.’’