By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
The Lagos State Government impounded on Monday no fewer than 130 commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, operating on highways and in other restricted areas for violating traffic laws.
The motorcycles were impounded at different locations by the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Enforcement Agency (Task Force).
The Task Force also arrested five motorists who flouted the state’s traffic regulations, including driving against the traffic and obstruction.
The recently established Anti-Oneway and Other Traffic Offences Squad of the State Government, which is now being operated under the Task Force, also joined in the enforcement.
An 80-man team, led by the new Task Force Chairman, Shola Jejeloye, a Superintendent of Police (SP), in an early morning enforcement raid at Iyana Ipaja, rounded up scores of Okada riders illegally operating on routes, which the state government had designated as restricted areas for commercial motorcycles.
The enforcement team moved to the Abule Egba area, where one-way drivers and commercial motorcyclists had created nuisance on the highways. Offenders were calmly ordered to exit their vehicles before they were confiscated by the Anti-Oneway Squad.
None of the motorcyclists and their passengers was injured in the operation, which lasted several hours.
Speaking during the enforcement, Jejeloye said the Task Force would sustain the operations all through the Yuletide period to limit incidents of robbers using motorcycles to carry out their nefarious activities and to give Lagosians the opportunity to move freely during the festive season.
He said the enforcement team was out to protect law-abiding citizens of the state against dangerous driving and preventable accidents caused by disobedience to Lagos traffic laws.
‘From today, we are redirecting our enforcement towards ensuring hitch-free Yuletide for all law-abiding residents of Lagos. This is a period when people are usually in a rush, especially impatient motorists who break the traffic regulations without regard for the lives of other road users. We also have Okada riders taking the advantage to ply restricted routes. We are fully ready and equipped to tackle these offenders,’ he said.
‘This statewide operation will be dawn to dusk from today (Monday) till the end of festive season. We are not out to destroy anybody’s means of livelihood, and Okada riders operating in approved areas need not fear. We will not relent on our resolve to restore orderliness back on our roads and reduce the incidents of criminals using motorcycles to rob people on the highways.’
Other areas where the Task Force carried out the enforcement included Fagba Road, Isolo, Ojota, and Oba Akran Road.