LBs: Okada Operators Storm Lagos House, Protest Restriction


Ahead of September 1 ban on activities of commercial motorcycles in some Local Governments (LGs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in Lagos State, hundreds of the motorcyclists yesterday staged a peaceful protest at the entrance of the State House of Assembly Complex.

The state government had earlier, in May and August 2022, banned activities of okada operators in 25 out of the 57 councils.

The affected areas are: Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa, as well as LCDAs under them.

It also affected the following LGs: Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu and Mushin  and LCDAs:  Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Bariga, and Odi-Olowo.

The protesters said the decision of the government to ban okada in the affected areas, which they projected could lead to a total ban in the entire state by December, did not come at the right time, considering the poor state of the nation’s economy.

Speaking to journalists, Adeleke Adegboyega, aka Big Boss, who is Zone S Chairman in charge of Kosofe, said they came to plead with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to reconsider the ban on okada because the present situation in the country did not support the decision.

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Adegboyega said that with the latest ban, more than 20,000 okada riders would be affected, noting that on average, an operator had a minimum of 10 family members he had to cater for, wondering what would become of such a person’s fate thereafter.

“We are pleading with the government to have a rethink on the ban; those who are doing legitimate business would not commit crimes, we are not criminals.

“Government should not allow people to go into crime. If you ask that they (okada riders) should stop doing their business, people would go into crime.

“Crimes are not committed alone with okada. Look at the issue of the train attack in Kaduna, they were not committed by those who are legitimately engaged in the okada business.

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