Arewa Community blames Nigeria’s neighbours for Okada crimes in Lagos
The Lagos State Arewa Community has said the majority of crimes committed by commercial motorcyclists in Lagos were carried out by ‘criminal elements’ from neighbouring countries.
Musa Saleh, the secretary-general of the Arewa community said this in a communique issued on Sunday after a brief meeting of the community.
The meeting was in reaction to a ban on motorcyclists known as okada riders in Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa local governments by Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The state authorities said the ban was for security reasons. It came days after motorcyclists lynched a sound engineer in Lekki.
The majority of the okada riders in most Lagos communities are perceived to be from Northern Nigeria and members of the Arewa community.
But Saleh said members of Arewa are not responsible for the crimes committed by okada riders in Lagos State, noting that the criminals are from neighbouring countries.
“We condemn in totality the activities of all criminal elements who are mostly foreigners from Niger Republic, Chad, Cameroon and other Neighboring countries who have infiltrated the ranks of those genuine riders and thereby perpetrating all forms of crime in Lagos state and are constituting serious threats to the lives and properties of Lagosians,” Saleh Said.
“We are calling on the Security Agencies to identify and arrest all those criminal elements masquerading as Okada riders.”
Saleh appealed to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to intensify its checks on the influx of foreigners coming into the country without documentation.
He said the Arewa Community supports the government’s policies to secure Lagos State.
“We are in total commitment and support to the administrative policies of the Lagos State Government getting rid of all security threats promoting peace and tranquility, safeguarding lives and properties of Lagos and the massive provision and development of infrastructures facilities for all Lagosians,” Saleh said.
The Arewa community leader urged its members to comply with the law and avoid riding motorcycles in restricted areas.