Okada Riders Defy Fashola’s Directive

  • Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - By Tunde Lemuel
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Governor Babtunde Fashola’s directive that commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada riders, should carry only one passenger at a time, appears to have fallen on deaf ears as the operators continue to carry two passengers or more per trip.

Apart from carrying more than a passenger per trip, the Okada operators have also been violating the restriction order placed on their operations in some areas of the state.

The government recently prohibited the carrying of more than a passenger per trip as a way of curbing incessant robbery incidents by Okada riders, and also to reduce the number of casualties recorded during accidents.

Some other acts outlawed by the state are mounting of musical gadgets on motorcycles, reckless and dangerous driving and driving in a direction prohibited by law.

Investigations by P.M.News revealed that various Okada operators within the metropolis are flouting these laws. Notorious areas where these are prevalent are Abule Egba, Ojodu, Berger, Igando, Ikotun, Iyana Ipaja, Isolo and Aboru towns.

The situation at Aboru is even very serious. About four persons are seen seated on a motorcycle per trip. One person sits on the fuel tank while two others sit behind the rider.

P.M.News investigations also revealed that in some areas where the laws are obeyed, Okada operators have hiked their fares by more than 200 per cent.

Commenting on the flouting of the laws by Okada operators, Mrs. Bola Ajao, Assistant Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Transportation, said: “We have been liaising with officials of LASTMA, VIO and the police to enforce these laws. We are currently working out a modality to ensure strict compliance with the laws governing the operations of Okada and keke Marwa or NAPEP in the state.

“The laws were made to bring sanity into our transportation system. If you notice, lately, Okadas are being used by men of the underworld to commit crime. So, it is a way of putting a stop to this criminal act.”

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