– groan as LASTMA, OPMESA, FRSC extort them heavily
Commercial motorcyclists popularly called okada riders, have refuted claims in some quarters that they have overrun the Lagos 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. They also complained about their low income.
The Lagos State Traffic Law enacted in 2012, among other provisions, prohibits operations of okada riders on 475 routes, including major highways, bridges and important roads in all the 57 local councils within the nation’s commercial capital as well as during specific hours (especially at night) in most areas within Lagos.
The restriction, the state government said at the time, was a necessity considering the rate at which motorcycles get involved in road accidents and are also used to perpetrate crimes in the state.
Three years after, however, the okada riders maintained they have accepted their fate and despite the inconveniencies of the law, they have not overrun Lagos.
IKEIA (Grammar School)
What they are doing to us is not fair at all because they forcefully collect money from us every day and we go back home with little after working tirelessly.
JAMES (Grammar School junction)
Things no dey go well at all as it suppose to be because the police dey embarrass us and at the end dem go collect the little money wey we make.
After work we go home with little money. I want make the government have mercy upon us.
We earn little and out of that government will get theirs even the touts and the union collect theirs and we go home with very little money.
We encounter a lot of difficulties because of the power Gov. Fashola gave the police, soldiers, etc to extort money from us. Soldiers came before but now they have stopped. The LASTMA, local government agents as well collect money from us too.
The okada riders need the help of the government because not all of them own the bikes they use. Majority of us collect the bike on loan and pay instalmentally. So, with all these we go to our families with little.
The police come from time to time to collect money from us. We have no choice but to give them. If we don’t, they will seize our bikes.
The business is not improving at all because we operate only within the streets. Though there are many okada riders on ground but there are less passengers.
AYO (Station, Ishaga area)
We don’t operate on the express, na only within the streets we operate because government don talk say make we no operate there again but the thing wey dey pain us be say we no make much money again.
EMEKA (Ishaga area)
Since the government has restricted us to the streets, that’s where we are now. Majority of okada riders have turned to Keke Napep because they earn little.
Most of us only work within the estate and the fact is that we don’t earn big like before because we have been banned from the highways.
It is only few of us that work on the highways but majority operate within the streets.