Lagos State government may soon phase out commercial motorcycles popularly known as okada the ‘yellow’ buses otherwise called as ‘Danfo,’ according to investigation. The move, impeccable sources in the state Governor’s Office said, was meant to bring sanity into the transportation sector, beginning from eradication of the operation of the commercial motorcycles in every nook and cranny of Lagos.
The latest attempt, it was learnt, was due to the increasing crime rate and violence caused by the flagrant abuse of the Lagos Traffic Law 2012, which prohibits the operations of commercial motorcyclists on 450 major roads and bridges. Hence, there is plan by the State Executive Council to review the Lagos Traffic Law, 2012 through the House of Assembly from partial ban of commercial motorcycles to total ban.
It was gathered that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is predisposed to the flagrant abuse of the law by the motorcyclists and the commercial bus drivers who flout all the provisions of the law.
Sources said that despite the arrest of okada riders by the state Task Force on Environment and Special Unit, the governor was still not satisfied with the presence of commercial motorcycles in some areas, especially the prohibited areas.
Hence, in the last eight months, three chairmen of the task force had been sacked and appointed. “Ambode is not comfortable with the continued operation of the motorcyclists but as a listening governor, he would not just ban them immediately when he assumed office. There is an existing law which regulates their operation.
“Legally, the law will be reviewed and a drastic decision will be made which is imposing a total ban on their operation,” a source said. Another senior top government official also said that recent bloody clash at Mile 12 emphasised the need to phase out okada.
“It is not unconnected with the bloody clash in Ketu-Mile 12 area of the state, which was triggered by a dispute between an Okada operator and a passer-by, which led to loss of lives and property worth millions of naira,” the official said.
In addition to the Mile 12 clash, it was also gathered that the increasing reports of robbery carried out with the use of motorcycles might have necessitated the move. “Robbers now find it very easy to operate with the aid of okada.
No serious government will fold its arms and watch criminals take over the state. I think Lagosians should prepare for total ban of this means of transportation,” he added. According to him, government is considering a better means of transportation befitting a mega city like Lagos.