The Lagos State Government on Monday said it had concluded plans to crush and recycle over 4,000 impounded commercial motorcycles, popularly called okada.
The state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who stated this in Ikeja, added that the action was in line with the provisions of the Lagos State Traffic Law, 2012.
He explained that the clampdown on okadas across the state was as a result of the government’s resolve to address the security concerns posed by okada operations, saying criminals were in the habit of using okadas to perpetrate crime and get away.
He said, “So far, we have impounded about 500 motorcycles since we started renewed efforts and we now have a total of about 4,000 okadas to be crushed. The law makes provision for how the seized motorcycles should be handled. The law also makes provision for how to handle those who flout the law.”
Owoseni said aside from impounding the motorcycles, the enforcement agents would also arrest operators and residents who patronised them, adding that mobile courts would be instituted to try offenders.
The police commissioner noted that due to the constant challenges of enforcing the law, the state government was considering an outright ban on okada operations in some areas, starting with the Lekki and Victoria Island areas.
“Okada riders have been a sort of menace. They go into the road and flout the laws with impunity. When they get to traffic lights, they behave as if it is not meant for them. Also, criminal elements use motorcycles to either snatch money or as a getaway in some areas. Not only that, they flout the 8pm closing time given to them,” Owoseni said.
The Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Olanrewaju Elegushi, said the government wanted commercial motorcycles to steer clear of restricted routes as the clampdown on defaulters would be total.