By Benprince Ezeh
OLAYEMI Tola Okada rider is among those who have lost their means of livelihood as a result of the restriction of Okada and Tricycle by Lagos State government to some local government areas. Tola, who is a graduate of Business Administration, said that he took up Okada riding as a business he was unable to secure any job in the country.
“In as much as I don’t support the use of Okada and tricycles on the highways, I urge the government to find a lasting solution to the rate of unemployment in the country. I studied Business Administration in one of the polytechnics and I wouldn’t have ventured into Okada business if I was able to get a job, but truth be told, this business is risky,” he said.
Oladimeji Folowoselo, a mechanic, said that it had been difficult to get to her workplace in time due to the unavailability of any means of transportation from where she stays to her destination. “Lagos State is peculiar in the sense that Okada is the fastest means of transportation. It is a place where car owners will have to abandon their cars and take Okada to avoid missing an important assignment. “I take Okada when going to purchase spare parts and it costs a lot of money, but I have no choice. The primary responsibility of government is to deliver good road networks to its citizens,” she said.
Olarewaju Ellen, a makeup artist said: “Restricting Okada and tricycles in Lagos State is like closing down a major means of employment for a set of people. I think the state government should instil sanity and discipline in the mode of operation of these riders instead of banning them from major routes in the state. So many families will suffer because those affected are breadwinners of their families,” Olarewaju stressed.
Uche Fortunate, who works at Apapa said that “Okada ban in Apapa? This seems laughable. Apapa, from Mile 2 to Warehouse road has not been motorable for years due to terrible roads and oversubscription by articulated trucks that stay up a full month before they can cover a 10 minutes’ drive. How do you expect people to go to work?”
Joseph Onyeanu said the government should have first provided alternative means of transportation before the total ban, wondering what will become of commuters, who would be stranded at bus stops. “It cannot be the right move without measures to cushion the effect of this. There are no sufficient vehicles to convey the many commuters, who will hang around bus stops,” he said.
Supporters of the ban said it would reduce accidents and other dangers associated with motorcycling, adding that the menace of the riders would also be curtailed. Sele Ijewere said he’s happy it’s been banned and implemented in Surulere, but added that he fears the union would do everything humanly possible to see it reinstated.
The same goes for Ademoray, who said, “Fantastic move, about time we stopped being selfish and started thinking about tourism, tourists, and visitors in our midst. Even for our own sanity in Lagos, which is now on the cusp of Yaba left. This madness and disorienting disorganisation on our roads need to give way for order.
On his path, Iyabo Martins Fashion Designer said that it’s a welcome development for the state, saying that many lives have been lost due to reckless driving from Okada and Tricycle riders. “The restriction of Okada and tricycles on major roads in Lagos State is a welcome idea because many innocent lives have been lost through Okada and tricycles on our highways. Some are in the hospital as a result of Okada accident. Although Okada is helpful, but for safety, let all riders register their names in their CDAs so that they can be monitored,” she said.
@TrafficChiefNG Pple are just trekking , from Obalende to Keffi / awolowo, Alagbon/ secretariat passport office #KekeBan #OkadaBan……the masses are in trouble!! Sanwoolu welldone pic.twitter.com/3jhWP8Xk0E
— De_Yulia (@Linvigorate_Y) February 3, 2020
Some Lagosians have taken to social media to express their anger, saying that they could not believe what the Lagos State Government has done.
@minesam Dear Lagosians how far have you trekked so far? My Dear Lagosians, The positive aspect is that “You will never walk alone” #otrek
My Dear Lagosians God bless your hustle. #OkadaBan
@UnclePamilerin The main cause of traffic in Lagos is Danfo, but your government thinks banning Okada and Napep that is saving lives is the solution. Someone who wakes up by 5 am to beat traffic will have to start waking up by 3. Your government lacks human emotional intelligence #OkadaBan #Otrek
@SomtoSocial Dear Lagosians.
This #OkadaBan and #KekeBan is a total shame on our government, you have rendered thousands of people jobless, Created NO jobs, no source of income.
Now thieves are on the rise, and we have bills to pay, Uber surge is now demonic. Just Wow Sanwo-olu.
– Feb. 8, 2020 @ 13:49 GMT |