LAGOS State government has established an Anti-Okada Squad to assist the police in enforcing the recent ban on motorcycle taxis across six local government areas under its renewed clampdown on crime.
Over recent years, the motorcycle taxi, popularly known as Okada has become a common feature on Lagos roads as the city’s chronic traffic jams have made them a commercial lifeline. However, these Okadas have created a set of problems as apart from the high accident rate among their riders, they have also spurred a wave of crime with armed bikers terrorising Lagosians at will.
To combat the menace, in May this year, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu banned the use of Okadas on highways, major roads, and bridges in Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland and Apapa local government areas and nine local government development areas. To help enforce the ban, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, the Lagos State commissioner for transport said that the Special Anti-Okada Squad would be reporting to the police.
Dr Oladeinde said: “It is the responsibility of the public to report any nefarious activities of the squad to the ministry of transportation. The public can report through the following help/complaint lines: 09038208154, 09034810153, 09033090826, and 09169655855.
“Such reports will help the government generate feedback on strategies for the protection of lives and property. Individuals arrested ( riders and passengers) will be made to face the full wrath of the law in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law, 2018.”
He reiterated that motorcycles impounded would be crushed in the public glare. Kamar Olowoshago, the permanent secretary, in the Lagos State ministry of transport, also urged the Anti-Okada personnel to be diligent and honest in the discharge of their duties.