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‘Okada’ Operators Get 21-Day Ultimatum To Quit Restricted Routes

Emmanuel Ukudolo

The Lagos State Government has issued a 21 day ultimatum to commercial motorcycle and commercial tricycle operators to vacate all restricted routes or face the full wrath of the law. Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello gave the order after a consultative meeting with the leadership of associations of both the motorcycle and tricycles in Lagos.

At the meeting, the State Government frowned at the recalcitrant attitude of the operators who flout traffic laws and operational guidelines with impunity. Bello noted that the Lagos State Government cannot allow a return to the recent past before the enforcement of the 2012 Road Traffic Law when crime rate and road accidents caused by unruly motorcycle riders were prevalent.

He stressed that it was because the State Government realized their value and contributions to the economy that it banned them from operating on 475 roads out of 9100, adding that they should not test the might of the state government. Bello further said that the Lagos State Government being a listening and compassionate government has directed a massive public enlightenment that will precede full enforcement of the restriction order to sensitize the operators and the generality of Lagos residents on the need to conform with the dictates of the Road Traffic Law.

While responding, the leadership of the motorcycle and tricycles operators thanked the State Government for taking them into confidence and promised to pass the message to their members before the deadlines.

Guidelines for motorcycle and tricycle operations in Lagos State are contained in Section 3 and Regulation 16 Sub-Section 4, 5 and 6 of the Road Traffic Law which restricted commercial motorcycles on 475 roads out of the 9100 roads. The law also makes it mandatory for operators of commercial motorcyles to wear standard crash helmet with full protection for both rider and passenger, the carrying of only one passenger, non-carriage of children and pregnant women, non-operation of okada beyond 8.00pm in Victoria Island, IKoyi and Ikeja and 10.00pm in other areas of the State, no riding on the kerb, median or road setbacks or in a direction prohibited by law.

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