A day to the enforcement of the total ban on commercial motorcycles popularly known as Okada from six local government areas in Lagos State and nine local council development areas (LCDAs) under them, riders have appealed to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to have mercy on them.
While they supported the ban from high ways, they pleaded that the governor allow them to continue to do their business on the streets within the neighbourhood in the state.
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Daily Trust gathered that already many operators have fled Lagos while some have moved to areas where their operations are not restricted.
The Leader of Arewa Okada Riders in Lagos, Musa Haruna Gazama, told Daily Trust in a telephone chat that some of the riders had already fled the state while some had moved to other LGAs.
One of the riders that ply Adeniyi Jones axis in Ikeja, Ibrahim Musa, pleaded on behalf of his colleagues for leniency from the government.
“I know that there are bad eggs among riders of Okada but for us at Adeniyi Jones, we are peaceful, and we do our work in an orderly manner. We don’t steal and we don’t fight.
“I came into Lagos from Jigawa State and I have been riding Okada for over five years. I also render courier service for passengers who are acquainted with me. Okada riding is my only source of income, from it, I get money which I send to my family in Jigawa for their upkeep,” he said.
The Lagos Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, has threatened to deal ruthlessly with anybody or a group of persons who may want to protest the ban on commercial motorcycle operations also known as Okada in the state.
He gave the warning after an emergency security meeting.
The social media has been awash with news of a planned protest by some riders in the state on June 1.
The state government had outlawed the operation of Okada in six local governments and nine local council development areas under them following the killing of a sound engineer by Okada riders at Lekki.
Alabi said security operatives and measures had been deployed in strategic places in the state to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
“In addition, all area commanders, divisional police officers and tactical commanders have also been placed on red alert towards any eventuality,” he added.
The CP enjoined all residents of Lagos State to go about their lawful businesses without fear of harassment or intimidation before, during and after the touted date for the protest, promising that the command was fully on top of the situation.