We’ll continue to wage war on disobedient okada riders — Lagos government

The Lagos State Government has vowed not to retreat in its war on traffic law violators, many of whom it says are okada riders.

The government restated its resolve to enforcing traffic laws following days of clashes between okada riders and the Lagos Taskforce.

“The Lagos State Government will continue to enforce its traffic laws to maintain sanity on roads and save lives,” information commissioner Gbenga Omotoso said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The State Environment and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit (Taskforce) will keep enhancing the enforcement of the Lagos Traffic Law 2018 with which it has been checking the excesses of commercial motorcyclists and others who drive against oncoming traffic and ply restricted routes.

“The action is to halt the resurgence of impunity and violation of traffic regulations.

“Amid the enforcement, which began on Tuesday, commercial motorcyclists have taken laws into their hands and attacked the taskforce, injuring officers carrying out their lawful duties. The perpetrators of this violence will be identified and made to face the law.

“However, the officers were undeterred by the criminal activities of the motorcyclists; 131 motorcycles were seized; 15 riders arrested and prosecuted; and 150 vehicles impounded in various areas of the State.

“The taskforce subsequently arraigned and prosecuted 35 drivers of impounded vehicles, who had to forfeit their cars to the State for driving against oncoming traffic; 62 drivers who plied the BRT Corridor were fined N70,000 each; and 28 tricycle owners were also arraigned in court.

“The taskforce was again attacked in Ikeja, on Wednesday.

“It retreated to avoid an escalation of the crisis. The team, however, mobilised more personnel to quell the riots started by the riders.

“Traffic enforcement agencies will continue to assert their authority. They have been directed to arraign and prosecute all violators to ensure that penalties are apportioned in consonance with the law.

“For the avoidance of doubt, commercial motorcycles and tricycles remain restricted from operating in six Local Governments and nine Local Council Development Areas — Apapa LG; Lagos Mainland LG; Surulere LG; Ikeja LG; Eti-Osa LG; Lagos Island LG; Onigbongbo LCDA; Ojodu LCDA; Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA; Iru-Victoria Island LCDA; Lagos Island East LCDA; Apapa Iganmu LCDA; Yaba LCDA; Itire-Ikate LCDA; and Coker-Aguda LCDA.

“The Lagos State Government will continue to dialogue with stakeholders in the transportation sector — NURTW, RTEAN, ANACOWA, TOOAN, TODAL and MOALS — to restore sanity on Lagos roads and halt the disregard for the traffic laws.”

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