Okada operators have reacted to the purported the plan by Lagos State government to get rid of okada from the streets of the metropolis. To refresh our memory, the immediate past governor of the state, now Minister of Power in the nation, Mr. Babatunde Fasahola once attempted to drive okada riders out of the highways in Lagos.
Though the attempt was tough and was making success initially, okada riders were later found back on the streets and highways. With the present administration planning to do the same thing, encomium.ng sampled the opinions of okada riders who pleaded with the government to let them remain on the streets.
BADERIN EZEKIEL (Okada rider, Haruna Street)
The government should let us be. This is not the first time they are trying this but it seems people like our services and that is why we have remained on the streets. Government should just leave us alone.
ODERINDE TAOFEEK (Okada rider, Harunna Bus Stop)
Though I heard about the government trying to take okada off Lagos Streets, I think it’s only on the highways because nobody has been disturbing us here. We do our normal business every day, no police man has come to molest or disturb us.
They only disturb us late in the night (around 10pm-11pm), they collect people’s bikes. But since I don’t do business at night, I’m not worried. I will only beg the government to please consider us, this is our only means of livelihood, we all have families to cater for.
AJETUNMOBI BIODUN (Okada rider, Dosumu Street)
I don’t know why the government should even think of getting okada off the streets. Are they going to provide jobs for us? We do not enjoy any benefit from them yet they won’t let us be. They just do thing without considering the effects on the poor masses.
The plan to evacuate okada riders in Lagos state won’t work. This is the job we are doing to sustain our family and take care of our home. Only if the Lagos State government will provide a good job that will be able to feed our family, then we can quit this job.
For now, it won’t work. The best they can do is to suffer us like they have always been doing.
The plan can never work out fine, the government should pity us. We can’t rob the bank to feed our family, this is the only means we are able to meet our responsibilities and pay bills I will advice the government to restrict the areas with which okada will operate and let us alone.
The previous administration did it but he said okada should not be seen on highways and we obeyed. Lagos state government just have to consider and have mercy on us.
-OLUWAFEMI SOEWU and AZEZZAT KAREEM