Lagos task force clamps down on commercial motorcycles
Arrests over 50 hoodlums for various offences
To entrench sanity on the state’s highways, the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit has impounded over 204 commercial motorcycles popularly known as Okada in Ojodu Berger, Ketu Alapere, Agric area in Ikorodu and Allen Avenue in Ikeja for plying restricted routes/roads and violating restrictions law on major highways.
The task force said the move is part of efforts to free the state from menace of hoodlums and street urchins popularly known as area boys for a safe, secure ember months and in preparation for a hitch free festive period.
The unit has also commenced its tactical and strategic enforcement for compliance operations under the code name, ‘Operation Kogberegbe’.
Speaking during the exercise, the chairman, Shola Jejeloye, said the restricted routes have been published on several occasions to avoid unnecessary excuses, stressing that some operators turned deaf ears in complying with the order.
The chairman said that all the restricted routes would be closely monitored to rid the state of Okada riders’ menace, which could lead to needless loss of lives and serious security challenges.
He emphasised that the activity is a signal to all recalcitrant environmental law offenders, who circumvent government rules and regulations that such offenders shall be made to face the full wrath of the law.
He further disclosed that the agency also clamped down on many blackspots as part of efforts to maintain law and order in the state. According to him, the unit raided some black spots at Oshodi area, Mile 12 and other trouble spots, where over 50 hoodlums were arrested with charms, machetes and other harmful weapons.
He added that his men were attacked by hoodlums in collaboration with okada riders at Ojodu Berger area, but were subdued due to superior tactical and systemic strategies of his men. He stressed that the suspects would be charged to court for various offences and for disturbing the public peace.
Jejeloye said the agency would not rest on its oars until all recalcitrant Okada Operators toe the line of best practice and the state is rid of hoodlums and street urchins known as area boys. He advised all the owners of buildings, landed properties and areas being used as hideout for criminals to put them to proper use or risk being demolished and forfeited to the state government in consonance with Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Laws, as owners of such properties who violate the laws will be prosecuted.
He also urged market women (the Iyalojas) to obey all environmental and special offences laws in their respective markets and put to practice environmental sanitation activities to keep the market clean, tidy, healthy and accessible.
He, however, warned them against displaying their goods on the road setback, parking of vehicles on the road and dumping of refuse indiscriminately, as the agency will not tolerate any act of indiscipline in and outside the market area.
MEANWHILE, the agency boss has appealed to councils in the state to regulate their ticketing policies to meet the new global best practice to prevent a faceoff with members of the public, who gave them the mandate.
“Henceforth the agency would no longer look the other way or tolerate any act of indiscipline from illegal ticketers, who are constituting nuisance on Lagos roads and markets, as it would begin to arrest and prosecute them for extorting innocent members of the public and disrupting free flow of traffic,” Jejeloye declared.