There was pandemonium in the Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State on Thursday when operatives of the state Joint Task Force went to the area to effect the ban on Okada operations.
It was learnt that many of the okada riders initially resisted the task force operatives from impounding their motorcycles.
The PUNCH gathered that while attempting to resist the task force’s arrest, some of the motorcyclists and their passengers got injured.
“Everywhere suddenly became rowdy. We just saw the okada riders making a U-turn and speeding. We thought there was a riot and everyone started running helter-skelter. We later found out that it’s the Lagos task force that came to arrest the Okada riders,” an eyewitness said.
When contacted on the telephone, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, clarified that there was no violence in the area. He also noted that there was no fatality.
According to him, reports that there was a clash in the area are false and should be discarded.
He said, “There was no violence in the area. Also, there was no Okada riders clash. What happened is that the police and other members of the joint task force went to impound motorcycles. During the enforcement exercise, about 200 motorcycles were impounded.
“We urge residents to be law-abiding. The impounded motorcycles would be destroyed.”
This is coming hours after the Lagos State Government directed security operatives to enforce ban on commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, as it imposes a fresh ban to curtail the unruly activities of motorcyclists in the state.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the directive on Wednesday, during a meeting with the state Commissioner of Police, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers at the State House, Ikeja.
Sanwo-Olu said that the total ban on Okada riders was on all highways across the six Local Government Areas (LGAs) and nine Local Council Development Areas of the state.
He said that effective from June 1, security operatives should enforce the proscription order across the listed councils.
The affected councils are Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa, and the total ban order extends to all LCDAs under the listed councils.
According to him, the fresh Okada ban followed the February 2020 restriction placed on the activities of commercial motorcycles.
Sanwo-Olu said that the government took the decision in line with the State’s Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018, to immediately address the chaos and menace created by the operations of commercial motorcyclists in the listed areas.
He urged the Police to enforce the order without compromise, warning that the state government would not condone any security formation that relax the new ban in its jurisdiction.