Monday, 3 September 2012

Okada operators sue LASG over new traffic law

…as NURTW demands
additional motor parks
IKEJA – A group of
commercial motorcycle
operators in Lagos
Monday dragged the
Lagos State
Government to court
challenging the legality
of the new traffic law
in the state.
Governor Babatunde
Fashola had on Aug. 2
signed the Lagos State
Road Traffic Bill into
law.
The commercial
motorcyclists, also
known as Okada
operators, – under the
aegis of All Nigerians
Autobike Commercial
Owners and Workers
Association, ANACOWA,
– filed the suit before
an Ikeja High Court in
Lagos.
The suit was filed on
their behalf by a Lagos-
based human rights
lawyer, Mr Bamidele
Aturu.
The suit is yet to be
assigned to any judge
and no date has been
fixed for hearing.
The defendants in the
suit are the Lagos State
Government, the Lagos
State House of
Assembly and the
Attorney-General of
Lagos State, Mr Ade
Ipaye.
Declaration on major
highways in Lagos
The claimants sought a
declaration that “The
Major Highways in
Lagos listed in Items
1-11 and other parts of
Schedule II of the
Lagos State Road
Traffic Law No. 4 of
2012 are Federal Roads
within the meaning of
the Federal Highways
Act, cap F13, Laws of
the Federation of
Nigeria, 2004”.
They urged the court
to declare section 3(1)
of the law which
prohibits the riding,
driving or propelling of
a cart, wheel barrow,
motorcycle or tricycle
on the Major Highways
in Lagos, as
unconstitutional.
The commercial
motorcyclists further
asked for a declaration
that the defendants
have no power
whatsoever to make
any law to regulate
traffic on any of the
Federal Roads.
Meantime, the
national executive of
the National Union of
Road Transport
Workers, NURTW, has
asked that the
government urgently
construct additional
motor-parks across the
state.
Speaking on behalf of
the union, National
President of NURTW,
Alhaji Najim Yasin who
made this known
yesterday, during a
courtesy visit to the
Lagos House, Alausa,
said “it will aid
effective compliance of
the new law by the
commercial drivers in
the state.”
According to Yasin,
“There are not enough
motor-parks in the
state considering the
number of buses
operating here. The
motor-parks across the
state are congested.
Many commercial
vehicle operators
cannot access the
motor-parks. And
when they do not have
where to park their
buses, this if not
addressed, will make
them flout the new
traffic law.”
He, however, urged the
state and the local
government to build
more motor-parks
across the state.
Responding, Governor
Babatunde Fashola of
Lagos State said the
traffic law has not
come to impoverish
the union but to
ensure that the
cooperation between
the government and
union continues
effectively.
According to Fashola,
“It is in the best
interest of the
commercial drivers and
the union. It is meant
to better our life.”
He however said that
the state government
has not banned union
activities in the motor
parks.

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