Monday, 15 October 2012
I have lost two motorcycles to govt already – Cyclist
Stakeholders in the commercial motorcycle operation in Lagos have continued to lament the decision of the government to crush 30, 000 impounded motorcycles that violated the new road traffic law, saying “the action is a threat to the high level of security Lagos enjoyed over the years”. The decision which came barely 24 hours after the hundreds of commercial motorcycles operators popularly called Okada riders under the aegis of the United Okada Riders Stakeholders’ Forum, stormed Alausa to protest over schedule two of the new law which banned them from plying 475 roads and bridges. Crushed motorbikes They spoke to Vanguard with a lot of venom saying the law was draconian and crushing of the Okada would further impoverish families in the state. Mr. Nwana Boni, a commercial motor cyclist said “Since the state government commenced enforcement of the new Lagos road traffic law, I have lost two motorcycles to the state government.” Boni added “This is the third motorcycle. “Due to the economic situation of the country, I had no option than to beg a friend who bought Keke NAPEP to sell his used Okada to me at a giveaway price.” He explained that after the “second motorcycle was impounded, I had no option than to lobby my friend to sell his motorcycle to me because I had accrued bills to pay; ranging from school fees, house rent and family members to feed.” According to him, “Arresting and crushing our motorcycles will further increase the rate of crime in the state. The low crime rate being enjoyed in Lagos over the years was as a result of the high number of unemployed in the state who have embraced the Okada business.” Another operator whose two motorcycles were impounded and crushed, Mr. Micheal Egwu said that after he lost the second okada, he had to get another motorcycle at hired purchase term. “This was the cause of insecurity in the nation’s capital. If Okada riders were not banned from the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, the level of security would not have deteriorated as much,” he said.