For the second consecutive day, commercial motorcycle operators have clashed with the Lagos State task force. On Tuesday, at the Second Rainbow area of the Oshodi – Apapa Expressway, a patrol team of the agency was attacked by commercial motorcyclists.
Yesterday, the riders chased the patrol team and pelted them with stones at Ikeja Along bus stop, Lagos – Abeokuta Expressway.
In a video that went viral, the riders were seen chasing the patrol team with dangerous weapons while armed policemen attached to the enforcement team of task force were seen running for safety.
The okada riders did not stop at attacking the task force officials, they also descended on BRT buses, which they also pelted with stones.
An official of task force, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he was not supposed to speak to the press, said: “We are doomed in Lagos. Criminals, who parade as okada riders, have deceived the genuine ones to cause havoc in the state. They ride against traffic, cause heavy gridlock and use the opportunity to rob people. There is no agency, including the police and Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) to checkmate them. If not for task force, the okada riders would have taken over the state.
“You could see how our armed policemen were running as if they were the criminals. If they don’t run and shoot anyone, the public will blame us. The problem is beyond us. But I learnt that the state government has taken over the issue. It is now a state government matter. It is left to the government to decide whether okada riders should take over the roads or not”.
Head, Public Affairs Unit of the task force, Adebayo Taofiq, said: “Yes, our men were attacked today at Ikeja Along, just as they did at Mile 2 yesterday (Tuesday), but all I know is that we are not going to be deterred, we won’t allow them to take over the roads”
On Tuesday, many people were injured and property worth several millions of naira destroyed during the clash between okada riders and task force officials at the Oshodi – Apapa Expressway. Among the injured were a paramilitary officer attached to task force, Ganiyu Mustapha, a pregnant woman and many other victims who were either running for safety or were hit by rampaging okada riders.