Lagos State rolls out 500 buses to replace ‘okada’

Adeze Ojukwu

Lagos State government has announced plans to launch 500 buses for inner streets and roads, as alternatives to commercial motorcycle riders, popularly known as ‘okada.’

Mr. Jubril Gawat, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor of Lagos State on New Media announced this through his official tweeter handle.

He tweeted: ‘Governor of Lagos State, Mr @jidesanwoolu has announced that about 500 last-mile buses (first phase) will be rolled out to serve as alternatives to Okada and get into inner streets. Mr Governor says the State will keep rolling out till it gets to 5000.’

Speaking, today, at a stakeholders meeting on security in Alausa, Ikeja,Governor Sanwo-Olu said his administration had concluded plans ‘to review the 2012 Lagos Traffic Law guiding the operations of motorcycles in the state.’

‘500 Last-Mile Buses will be introduced in the state to serve as an alternative means to get into streets as opposed to commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada.’

‘We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders are disregarding and flouting the restrictions we imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis. In this same vein, we have also observed with dismay the ongoing war between commercial motorcyclists and our law enforcement agencies.’

‘This propensity for lawlessness is not who we are as Lagosians. The Lagos State Road Traffic Law, enacted in 2012 to safeguard the lives of people and to maintain law and order on our roads, is the legal backbone for the restrictions put in place early last year and designed to curb the Okada menace in the State.’

‘As part of the restrictions put in place, we banned the activities of Okada and tricycle operators on key roads, highways, and Local Government Areas. Sadly, many Okada and tricycle operators have continued to flagrantly disobey the law and, in some cases, resist enforcement by engaging in organized attacks on law enforcement agencies.’

‘We have also observed a worrying trend in which criminals have found commercial motorcycles a useful and enabling tool with which to perpetrate heinous crimes, with the motorcycles acting as quick-getaway vehicles.’

‘As we all know, no society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality. Ladies and gentlemen, let me reiterate our commitment as a government to the maintenance of law and order in society. Our mission of attaining a Greater Lagos can only be achieved when we all resolve to live in an orderly manner.’

‘Consequently, and based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will in the coming days be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the state.’

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