Motorcycle riders popularly known as ‘Okada’ have taken to the streets to protest the continuous arrests by the operatives of the Lagos State Task Force.
The ‘Okada’ riders who operate within the Palm Avenue and Mushin Olosa axes of Lagos staged a massive street protest on Thursday, September 7, 2017, where they condemned the ‘illegal’ raid the Task Force officials.
According to one of the riders who spoke to Mushines, the “Task Force officials come here regularly to arrest riders and take their bikes away. These illegal arrests are becoming too much and we decided to stage the protest to demand that they put a stop to it.”
Another rider said, “if we don’t put an end to the arrests by the Task Force, majority of people will end up jobless because this is our only means of survival. We need the government to help us beg their officials to stop the illegal raids in our area.”
The protest, however, led to a surge for the few available motor bikes in the area as most of the riders were involved in the protest.
Meanwhile, the operatives of the Lagos State Task Force commenced full operations against motorists engaging in illegal commercial activities under the Ojuelegba and Ikeja Bridges today, Monday, September 11, 2017.
Speaking on the development, Task force chairman, SP Olayinka Egbeyemi, said that full enforcement of the operations commenced after the expiration of a 48-hour quit notice served on the affected people by the agency.
“All these illegal motorists engaging in commercial activities around Ojuelegba and Ikeja by Ipodo Market, Awolowo Way have been served a ‘Quit Notice’ on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 to vacate under the bridges immediately,” Egbeyemi said.
He added that: “Activities of these illegal motor parks are contributing to the traffic gridlock across the state. No responsible and responsive government will tolerate criminal activities being carried out by hoodlums and miscreants around these illegal parks,” Egbeyemi said in a statement signed by Mr Adebayo Taofeek, Head and Public Affairs Unit.”
Egbeyemi further said that the operation was to clean up the dark spots, advising motorists engaging in these illegal commercial activities to comply with the directive immediately by removing their buses.
He, however, warned that anybody caught obstructing the operations would be severely dealt with in accordance with the law.