Commercial motorcyclists popularly called okada riders have refuted claims in some quarters that they have overrun the Lags metropolis by plying routes outlawed by the New Lagos State Traffic Law. This much they said when ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with a cross section of them. They insisted that they have maintained the routes they are allowed according to the law, despite the general elections in February.
The restriction, the government said, was necessary considering the rate at which motorcyclists get involved in road accidents and are also used to perpetrate crimes in the state.
Some citizens also gave their opinions concerning the restriction when our correspondents spoke with them.
MR. PETER (Agege)
Policemen disturb us every day and even collect money from us. That’s why we don’t off our bikes because whenever we see them coming, we run away, even with passengers. That’s why we prefer carrying male passengers and young ladies, not old or pregnant women.
PROPHET EMMANUEL ADEKUNLE
The police are really disturbing us. When the issue of banning of okada started, I wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Transportation and nothing was done. I think the government should, please help the masses.
We told the government to assist us with a park but they told us to pay N5 million to get the licence. For God’s sake, where can we get that.
MR. SHOPE (Fagba)
The government is very wicked. They don’t consider the masses at all. I was arrested by the police and my bike was confiscated. I was told to bring N15,000 that day which I was unable to get that’s why my bike is still with them.
The bike I am riding presently was collected on loan. I pay installmentally, me wey be say I get my own bike before. This government is not helping the masses at all. When they said, they don’t want okada, they ought to give an alternative. I pray God deliver us from our oppressors o.
MR. TAIWO (Fagba)
The security forces come from different divisions to disturb us and collect money from us despite the fact that we don’t operate on highways.
MR. ADEOLA (Alamutu Street, Station)
We don’t operate on highways but sometimes they disturb us and collect money. Some of them arrest some okada riders because they cross the road which they can’t do without. Most of them come from as far as Agbado Crossing to work there.
It’s a lie, we don’t operate on highways. We spend close to N7,000, N8,000 as bribe to divisions that come daily. I will appeal to the government to allow okada riders to work as usual.
MR. OSE (Fagba)
People are really suffering in this country, most especially in Lagos. We the transporters are not left out of the problem. I pray God should put the right person in power in the forthcoming elections.
The harassment by the police is too much oo. Even when we dey go home from work no be say we dey work, they will arrest and collect money from us.
MR. DAMOLA (Amoo Street, Agege)
Though where the riders are not expected to operate some of them are now working there, the truth be say people are suffering. The government should create a better avenue for them to operate. We have wives and children to cater for.
MR. ADEBAYO (Fagba)
The police are really pressurizing us despite the fact we no dey work for express again. But before they collect money from us. It has reduced but they disturb us within the streets where we operate.
MR. ABAYOMI (Agege)
We want the government to give us freedom, make we dey enjoy the work of our hands. We just dey work but we no eat the fruit of our labour.
MR. RASAQ (Grammar School)
Make government help us to create better employment opportunities. Dem talk say make we no work for highways but dem still they disturb us. My family dey suffer seriously because there is no money.
MRS. AJOKE OMONIYI (Trader)
I think what the government dey do right because okada too dey run fast. That’s why accident plenty for Lagos.
I think what the government did by banning okada operation on the highways is the best because it has reduced the rate of accidents.
Since I had okada accident, I don’t ride it again. I take bus and where the bus can’t get through, I will trek and if not trekable, I will stay back.
I don’t support banning the okada riders from the highways because motorcycle is one of the fastest means of transportation by land. I want the government to bring them back.
I love the way the government restricted them from highways because lots of lives have been wasted through their operation. My younger brother was involved in okada accident.
MR. FRANCIS (Marketer)
I think what the government did was right because we have reduced the rate of accident.
The government should at least be considerate with the riders. They have also increased their fare because they are working in fear of the police.
What the government did by banning okada from highways is best because one of my relatives was an okada victim.