Friday, 6 November 2015

Ambode Reads Riot Act To Okada Riders, Street Hawkers

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos has warned  commercial motorcycle operators popularly called Okada riders, commercial buses and street hawkers that the state would no longer tolerate their activities that have caused serious problems to Lagosians.
In recent times, the state has been under the siege of criminals who have turned the highways and streets to fertile grounds for engaging in criminal acts. The governor has decided to curb the unruly activities in the state by taking firm measures.

The governor after an emergency security council meeting noted that crimes perpetuated in the city lately were cause caused by the menace of street hawkers and motorcycles using the highways.

Governor Ambode ordered the full implementation of the Lagos Road Traffic Laws especially the aspect that restricts the movements of tricycles and okadas.

The law restricts Okada, tricycle (Keke Marwa), carts and wheel barrows on some routes including Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Oworonshoki-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos-Ikorodu Expressway, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Third Mainland Bridge, Eti-Osa/Lekki –Epe Expressway, Lagos –Badagry Expressway, Funsho Williams Avenue, Agege Motor Road and Eti-Osa/Lekki Coastal Road.

He said: “Any person who fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Section commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction as stipulated in the law.

“Henceforth, all commercial vehicles, except Bus Rapid Transport buses, must use only the service lanes in accordance with existing traffic laws. All conductors of Commercial buses must sit down in their buses and keep the doors closed at all times while in motion. It is against the Law for conductors to hang on the bus doors and leave the doors open. Any bus contravention will be met with severe punitive measures.

“Commercial buses can only drop and pick passengers at officially designated bus stops henceforth. Any illegal and indiscriminate picking and dropping of passengers is against the law.

“Other road users who break traffic laws will pay a compulsory traffic fine in accordance with the law. Mobile Traffic courts are being introduced to prosecute offenders promptly.”

The governor also addressed the issue of gridlock in the Apapa area and said that tank farms have been given a 90-day grace period to build loading bays for their tank farms.

Governor Ambode warned Lagosians to desist from patronizing street hawkers who ply the streets and highways.

“The next hawker could be a robber or terrorist. You are now well-advised. If we all cooperate and decide not to buy, gradually and collectively, the hawkers will not come to the highways and streets anymore. Our roads will definitely become safer”.

“Our security agencies have been directed to increase their presence on the roads and highways to ensure greater safety. Once again, I am committed to a safer, cleaner and more prosperous Lagos; a Lagos that works for all,” He said

Stakeholders in the transportation business pledged their support for the governor.They include: the chairmen, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Mohammed Musa Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, representative of Maritime Truck Owners, Remi Ogungbemi,, Chairman , Alhaji Sikiru Kaka, chairman , Alhaji Sulaiman Adesina, representative Lagos Taxi Drivers And Cab Operators, Tajudeen Adetoro and chairman, Tricycle Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Branch, Prince Joseph Olu Odusanya.

On Monday, November 2, the governor surveyed some areas of the metropolis for more than two hours to get a first hand knowledge of the security issues in the state.