Don wants LASG to seek federal powers in tackling lawless motorcyclists
Former Dean, School of Transport, Lagos State University, (LASU), Prof. Samuel Odewumi has called on the Lagos State Government to seek support of Federal Government agencies in apprehending motorcycle riders plying restricted routes in the metropolis.
Indeed, in January 2020, Lagos State Government proscribed operations of the motorcyclists and tricycles in six Local Government Areas (LGAs), nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) and 10 major highways across the state.
Following the action, security operatives embarked on total enforcement of the State’s Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018. The aim was to address the chaos and disorderliness created by illegal operations of Okada and tricycle riders in restricted areas. Besides, the government also banned okada and tricycles from plying 40 bridges and flyovers across the state.
Since the ban, bike-hailing startups like ORide (a subsidiary of Chinese-backed OPay superapp), Max.ng, Gokada among others, have switched to logistics and delivery services.
Despite the restriction of commercial motorcyclists from plying certain roads in Lagos State, defiance to extant laws has been on the rise. In fact, a lot of Lagosians now hold the view that trucks have given way to okada riders to emerge as the new king’s of Lagos roads. Whether on the highways or inner roads, okada riders flout traffic laws with impunity and any attempt to make them do the right thing always results in insults or outright violence.
Speaking with The Guardian, Odewumi said law enforcement has become a huge challenge for Lagos State Government more, so after the ENDSARS protests.
He said: “Just imagine the mob killing of a police officer consequent upon an attempt to enforce the law on Okada riders.
“You hear of skirmishes of riots whenever any serious effort is made by the state government to impound the bikes as a form of enforcement. The state government should just be pitied,” he said.
He said with the rising statistics of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officers killed and injured in the state, it would be obvious that Lagos is grappling with grave situation.
However, he suggested that law enforcement officers should start arresting passengers instead of the riders. If there is no client the riders will go on the other roads where they are permitted, adding that the passengers are the enablers.
“They are easy targets because they will not likely be able to mobilise riots and mayhem like the riders.”He advised the state government to seek federal government support so that federal agencies like Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Police can help in the enforcement.
He also advocated massive mobilisation of law enforcement agencies to specific routes for a period of about a week, adding that the huge number of enforcers can then select another route by random rotation. He noted that when the number of enforcers is huge, it discourages any attempt to cause mayhem.