Before the Saturday, April 11, 2015 governorship election in Lagos State, some sections of the electorate in the state had vowed not to vote for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on account of the alleged unfairness of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola’s administration to them.
But their threat amounted to nothing as Ambode defeated their preferred candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the keenly contested election.
ENCOMIUM Weekly went round to seek the reactions of some of these aggrieved people, including Keke Marwa and okada riders, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), traders, artisans and more. They all poured out their minds over the victory that shocked them all.
‘NOBODY KNOWS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN’
– Nathaniel, Marwa rider, Oke-Ira
There’s nothing we can do now. The only reason they have not been disturbing us this year is because of the election. Now they have won, nobodya knows what would happen. No, I did not vote since they already knew who would win even before the election. Why should I waste my time?
I hope Ambode will not be like Fashola.
‘THE NEW GOVERNOR SHOULD CONSIDER US’
– Ekene, Marwa rider
I am happy that Fashola is finally leaving office, but we don’t know if the new governor will be like him. Our prayer is they should consider us. In a day, I used to make about N5,000 until they forced us to leave the main road. Now, I work extra hard.
‘WE DID OUR PART TO VOTE IN THE ELECTIONS’
– Fatai, Marwa rider
We will accept any fate, there’s nothing we can do now. We did our part to vote in the elections. We are hoping the incoming government will not ban us completely. That is my fear. How will families survive? You know, Okada has become part of our lives.
‘I HAVE NO REGRET SUPPORTING AGBAJE’
– Idris, member, NURTW
Yes, it’s true. Many of us voted for Agbaje. The reason was Fashola was not good to us. But not all of us voted against APC. I’m happy we supported PDP, anyway.
‘I CONGRATULATE AMBO’
– Jubril Akinwunmi, Keke Marwa operator
I really wanted Ambode to win. So, I voted for him. I’m happy for Ambode and I congratulate him.
‘AMBODE IS A GOOD MAN’
– Ibe Akataobi, Trader, Ladipo market
I think the new governor is a good man, though I don’t like Fashola (If you like go and tell him). We want Lagos State government to consider us. That’s my own.
‘I’M SURE APC WILL BAN OKADA IN OGBA’
– Dauda Kabiru, Okada rider
It is obvious Ambode will pursue okada out of town. But some people said he will leave us. We have to support him, now he has won.
‘IT’S TRUE MOST OF US DIDN’T VOTE FOR APC’
– Godwin Odigie
It’s true most of us didn’t vote for APC because Ambode promised continuity from Fashola in Lagos. And by our calculation, Ambode won’t allow us to ply all the roads in Lagos.
But now, there is nothing we can do other than to abide by the rules of the land. All I know is that Ambode can’t be harder than Fashola. The way I see him, he has human feelings. I congratulate him.
‘I DIDN’T VOTE AMBODE, TO BE HONEST’
– Martins Obiegwu
I didn’t vote Ambode, to be honest. We’re not enjoying Fashola’s administration. Although, he may not be at fault all the time, but he needs to call all these policemen and LASTMA officials to order. They disturb us a lot. What’s the essence of working and at the close of the day, you can’t save N1,000.
Police would have collected more than half, and if LASTMA official arrests you, there is nothing like I am sorry. They will collect not less than N10,000. The last time I was arrested along Fagba here, I paid N15,000. I had to borrow money from my wife.
‘IT’S GOOD THAT AMBODE WON THE ELECTION’
– Musibaudeen Yahyah
It’s good that Ambode won the election. The fact is that I also didn’t want to vote for him initially. But when I started hearing if Jimi Agbaje wins, he will pursue all the Hausa out of Lagos, that’s why all of us came together and voted Ambode.
We can only beg him to soft pedal on those of us using okada and help talk to the police to stop harassing us. On this okada, I pay N2,000 every week to the police so that they won’t disturb me. It’s unfair, the new governor should help us.
‘IF JONATHAN HAD WON, I WOULDN’T HAVE VOTED APC’
– Sola Kazeem
I am a tricyclist, I voted Ambode because I believe since PDP had lost Federal power, the best for us in Lagos is to get connected to the party at the federal level, so that roads in Lagos can be attended to. Although, if Jonathan had won, I wouldn’t have voted APC governor because those of us operating Keke Marwa and okada are always the target of law enforcement agents.
They usually hide under the umbrella of traffic law and extort us to the marrow. We pray the law will be relaxed a little with what they saw in the elections. But now that it’s still the continuity of APC government, we all need to mobilize ourselves to Alausa as soon as Ambode is sworn-in to let him know our grievances so that he can help address them.
We will have another election when he too will want to go for a second term. So, he needs not to behave like his predecessor. Fashola is just too hard. I congratulate him and pray he will have listening ears.
‘I’M NOT HAPPY FOR AMBODE’S VICTORY’
– Ibrahim Adisa, Okada rider
I’m not happy for Ambode’s victory. I personally did not want him to rule Lagos State because he will start from where Fashola stopped. I voted Jimi Agbaje but they manipulated the election. Ambode is not a leader. But for the fact Lagosian voted for him to win the election, he should not treat us like animals.
We are humans like him. Fashola did not treat us the okada riders well, I believe Ambode will not do same. Even though they don’t allow us on major roads, they should give us some small road because the streets are not enough for us.
‘LET HIM THINK OF HOW TO ASSIST LAGOSIANS’
– Niyi, Keke Marwa
Anything Ambode wants to do for the benefit of the people that voted for him, let him do. But he shouldn’t stop Keke on the road. He should allow free movement of Keke Napep because that is what most of us use and even the people that voted feed their families and as well as pay school fees. Instead, let him think of how to assist Lagosians.
‘WE PUT HIM WHERE IS NOW’
– Adeshola, Keke Napep
Ambode has a lot to do for the okada operators. We put him where is now. I don’t see any reason why he should stop Keke Napep because Lagosians will suffer. Danfo will not be enough for the people of Lagos. I think he should allow Keke on the road.
‘HE SHOULD PUT US IN MIND’
– Emmanuel, Keke Napep
I’m very happy that he won the election but some are saying the new president will ban Marwa, some are saying he will not. Anything the government wants to do, they have the power to do it, if they want to ban Marwa, they should create another means for us.
‘…APC DID NOT ACCOMMODATE US IN THE LAST TWO YEARS’
– Abiodun Ibrahim, Napep man
I personally voted for PDP, because APC did not accommodate us in the last two years. They frustrated and made things difficult for us. We don’t know what will happen in a couple of months. I pray they don’t chase us from operating here, I don’t know what they expect our families to feed on.
‘WE HOPE FOR THE BEST’
– Sunday, Marwa driver
We hope for the best, although the party has not been favouring us.
‘I WANT AMBODE TO ALLOW US PLY MORE ROUTES’
– Jamiu Akilo
I want Ambode to allow us ply more routes, they can restrict us from the federal roads. Then, police disturb us a lot here, they will arrest and ask us to bring N5,000, where will I get that. Ambode should not follow the footsteps of Fashola by banning us from operating.
‘I WANT HIM TO RETURN THE OKADA FASHOLA TOOK FROM ME’
– Emmanuel Babawale
I want him to return the okada Fashola took from me. I joined a cooperative, bought three okada and they collected them unannounced. We are in a democratic government, we shouldn’t suffer like this, we know what else to do.
‘THEY SHOULD STOP DISTURBING US UNNECESSARILY’
– Waheed Kashimawo, Okada rider
I am happy for them, and I hope they stop disturbing us unnecessarily. We had peace since late last year because of the elections.