The Lagos State government has revealed that it has concluded plans to crush and recycle over 4, 000 impounded commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada, in line with the provisions of the State Traffic Law 2012.
A statement by Habib Aruna, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, quoted Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, as saying that recent clampdown on commercial motorcycles in the state was a fallout of the government’s resolve to address the security concerns posed by their operations, saying that criminals were in the habit of using Okada to perpetrate crime and get away.
The Lagos Traffic Law 2012 prohibits the operations of Okada and tricycles also known as Keke Marwa from operating in certain routes and areas across the state.
He said the state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, had directed that the police and other security agencies concerned redouble efforts to ensure the law was complied with, while giving assurance that the clampdown would be sustained vigorously on a daily basis.
He said: “So far, we have impounded about 500 motorcycles since we started our renewed efforts and we now have a total of about 4, 000 bikes ready to be crushed. The law made provisions on how those motorcycles should be handled and the law also made provision on how to handle those that have flouted the law itself.”
According to Owoseni, the decision to crush and recycle the impounded motorcycles was in accordance with the provision of the law.
Owoseni said aside impounding the motorcycles and tricycles, the enforcement would also clampdown on the operators and residents who patronise them, adding that mobile courts would be instituted to try arrested offenders.
“The operators of the commercial motorcycles and those patronising them, with time, you will get to see the Mobile Court going around to try some of those that have been arrested. What we are saying here is that we want people in Lagos to know that there is a law and the law is made for a purpose and if all of us obey the law and conform, the better for us,” he said.
Besides, Owoseni said that due to the constant challenges of enforcing the law, the state government was already considering an outright ban on Okada operations in some areas of the state starting with the Lekki and Victoria Island axis.
Corroborating him, Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Olanrewaju Elegushi, said the administration of Governor Ambode recently warned all commercial motorcycles to steer clear of restricted routes, as the clampdown on defaulters would be total.
“We have an enforcement unit led by the Commissioner of Police, the Task Force on Environmental and Other Special Offences, the Divisional Police Officers and the Area Commanders. They have started enforcement and we came to see how far they have gone,” Elegushi said.