As the enforcement of the ban on the operation of commercial motorcycles popularly known as Okada took effect Wednesday in Lagos State, Daily Trust observed a high level of compliance.
Despite the compliance, few riders who defied the ban got their motorcycles impounded while some were arrested.
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The chairman of Lagos State Taskforce, CSP Shola Jejeloye, confirmed that there was a high level of compliance but revealed that 46 motorcycles were impounded in the morning while 34 others were impounded in the evening.
He also said that 13 suspects were also arrested, adding “We are still on the ground to comb the entire LGAs.”
The state government had outlawed the operation of Okada in six local governments and nine local council development areas under them.
The affected LGAs are Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island and Apapa.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu while announcing the ban said the decision followed the February 2020 restriction placed on the activities of the commercial motorcycles.
He explained that the state government took the decision in line with the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018 to immediately address the chaos and menace created by operators of Okada in the listed areas.
Roads and bridges in the restricted local government areas (LGAs) were free of motorcycles.
The popular Iyana Ipaja-Oshodi Road, which is known for the heavy movement of motorcycles, especially in the early hours of the day and at the close of work in the evening, was clear as no commercial motorbike was spotted.
A few ones seen were dispatch riders and those who did not carry passengers.
Our reporter also observed compliance at Surulere, Lagos Island, Lekki, Ikoyi, and Victoria Island, although a few Okada riders were seen operating in the interiors in different parts of the State. There was a heavy presence of security personnel on patrol in the affected LGAs.
It was earlier gathered that many Okada riders had fled Lagos State while others had moved to LGAs where the ban was not effective.
Some of the riders said they stayed away from the affected LGAs to avoid being caught up in event of any shoot-out while others in areas such as Ojo, operated freely along the Mile 2-Badagry expressway.
From Christiana T. Alabi & Eugene Agha, Lagos