Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Chairman of Committee on Transportation in Ogun State, Olufemi Adeniyi, has said the state will allow commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as ‘Okada’ banned in Lagos State, to operate in Ogun.
Adeniyi, who disclosed his committee had been inundated with calls and reports of influx of the banned commercial motorcyclists into some neighbouring towns in the state, declared Ogun would accommodate the displaced riders to ply their trade.
He made this known yesterday, while briefing journalists on the development in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Lagos State government had last week announced the ban on the operation of commercial motorcyclists and commercial tricycles in 15 local government areas of the state.
But speaking with newsmen, Adeniyi reiterated the readiness of Ogun to take advantage of the ban and increase the internally generated revenue of the state.
He added that since the enforcement of the ban, commercial motorcyclists had thronged neighbouring communities and towns in Ogun such as Akute, Alagbole, Ajuwon, Ojudu-Berger, Mowe, Ibafo, Ogijo, Sagamu and Ijebu-Ode, noting the influx would increase commercial activities in the state.
While appealing to the residents of the state to accommodate the displaced Okada riders, Adeniyi assured that the state would create enabling environment for the incoming motorcyclists to operate.
He, however, cautioned that similar restriction could be placed on the commercial motorcyclists, if “they allow agents of darkness display their talents in Ogun.
“We, as a responsible and responsive government, have been inundated with calls from the public and we have also listened to the mass media concerning the position of Lagos State on the ban on Okada in Lagos metropolis, consequent upon which commercial motorcyclists have left their place of trade from Lagos down to the neighbouring towns which happened to be in Ogun State.
“The most concerned areas are Alagbole, Akute, Ajuwon, Ojodu-Berger, Mowe, Ibafo and Ogijo axis. We have noticed the influx of these Okada, even to Sagamu and Ijebu Ode, Ota, Sango and other areas. We plead with our people to be law-abiding and very accommodating.
“We are all going to that Promised Land, but we need to tread with caution concerning this influx of the okada riders. We know it is going to be a means where government will generate revenue from the people, especially the okada riders because they would pay their dues to the government.
“At the same time, we need to let these people understand, that is the okada riders, who are just coming in, that it would be in very bad taste if they are resisted. For this would be not in consonant with freedom of movement as enshrined in the constitution of the country. This movement as has been restricted in Lagos State could also be restricted in Ogun State, if the agents of darkness among them display their talents in Ogun State,” Adeniyi said.