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Okada riders go on rampage, allege police extortion


Okada riders protesting against alleged extortion in front of Daleko police station yesterday

Just when the Lagos State task force was revving up its operations in a renewed clampdown on motorcycle operators flouting the state’s traffic rules, some Okada riders yesterday went on a rampage in Iyana Isolo area of the state in a fracas with policemen stationed at Daleko Police station.

For over an hour, the Iyana Isolo to Ilasa axis was thrown into chaos with bonfires, throwing of stones and firing of teargas as the rampaging Okada riders protested against alleged extortion by policemen in the area.

While the melee lasted, the riders formed a barricade in front of the police station preventing other road users from accessing the route. This led to congestion around the troubled spot, which presently serves as an alternative route for Cele bound motorists escaping the traffic caused by the diversion on the Oshodi-Apapa expressway.

Before they were teargassed away, the riders lamented series of extortions experienced in the hands of the policemen. An Okada rider told The Guardian he had been arrested twice in the space of a week and on each occasion, he has had to bail himself and his machine with over N10,000

“We are not thieves. What offense have we committed to being treated like criminals? We are only hustling riding Okada, yet the police will keep pouncing on us. The chase gets so intense that they sometimes almost lead us and our passengers to death or fatal accident,” he said.

Police officers at the scene refused to comment on the development.


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