The Lagos State Government has officially banned the operation of motorcycles, popularly known as Okada in the local parlance; as well as auto-rickshaws/tricycles popularly known as Keke NAPEP from operating in 15 local governments in the state.
The 15 Local Governments and Local Council Development Centres affected by the ban on Okada and tricycles include the following; Apapa, Apapa Iganmu, Lagos Mainland, Yaba, Surulere, Itire Ikate, Coker Aguda, Eti-Osa and Lagos Island. Others include Ikeja, Onigbongo, Ojodu, Ikoyi-Obalende, Iru Ikoyi-Obalande, and Lagos Island East.
Specifically, the ban takes effect from February 1, 2020.
Equally important, the ban affects the services of motorcycle ride-hailing services. These include the likes of popular players, Gokada, Opay and Max, among others.
This was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Lagos State Governor on New Media, Jubril Gawat. Gawat communicated the ban on his personal handle on the micro-blogging site, Twitter on Monday.
BREAKING NEWS: The Lagos State Government has banned the activities of Commercial Motorcycles (Okada) & Tricycles (Keke) in some LGAs in the State: Apapa, L/Mainland, Surulere, Eti Osa, L/Island, Ikeja effective from Feb 1, 2020. #ForAGreaterLagos @Riddwane @gbenga_omo pic.twitter.com/A79VP0p6dH
— Jubril A. Gawat (@Mr_JAGs) January 27, 2020
Also, the ban has been confirmed by the Lagos State Government on its official Twitter handle. In addition, it confirmed that the government has banned Okada and tricycles from plying 40 bridges and flyovers in Lagos.
Lagos State Government on Monday wielded the big stick against the menace of commercial motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles (Keke NAPEP) @jidesanwoolu @gbenga_omo #LASG #ForAGreaterLagos pic.twitter.com/pIoy6RzGjz
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) January 27, 2020
Mixed reactions trail decision by Lagos State Government
The government had attributed its decision to the need to ensure safety of residents; while reducing the incidents of accidents caused by motorcycles and tricyles in the identified areas. Further, it cited disregard for traffic laws even as it noted that they contribute to congestion; hence the need to clear the gridlock.
In addition, the Lagos State Government has underlined its determination to serve the identified areas with buses.
Also .. For people asking .. “What of Alternatives?”
Lagos State Govt says Buses will be rolled out for these areas but first thing is that, Transportation has to be SAFE & those areas will be adequately covered.#ForAGreaterLagos pic.twitter.com/R1VJFiDMNA
— Jubril A. Gawat (@Mr_JAGs) January 27, 2020
Meanwhile, residents of Lagos have reacted with mixed feelings to the decision of the Lagos State Government. Indeed, while a few have hailed the ban as timely and a good move; the majority have lampooned the decision as an ill-advised one.
Equally important, 1st News has put together a cross section of reactions to the ban from Twitter.
Question for the Lagos State government: 1. how many Lagosians feed their family off kekes and okadas? 2. What measures were put in place for the intended and unintended consequences of this ban? What are the expected + & -ve impacts of this ban?
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) January 27, 2020
Part of the reasons the people don't trust their leaders is inconsistency with words. We wont ban okada- lagsos state govt.
Some weeks after- okada and tricycle have been banned from some Lagos roads. Where do you want this people to start from?
— Mustapha (@Mustilamento) January 27, 2020
Even though I know that this will affect some honest folks, I can't ignore the fact that most of these "Keke n Okada" guys are nuisance. On that note, I applaud this development.
— Tobi (@tobiosa) January 27, 2020
That narrative that there are more Okada accident is no news and it’s still bullshit. Okada is part of the current reality of transportation in Lagos, no matter how Mega you people try to make it. Why not work toward a safety / training mechanism with Gokada and Opay etc?
— Olúmidé F Mákànjúọlá (@O_Makanjuola) January 27, 2020
If transportation is unsafe, it is not because of the riders, it's because of the failure in properly regulating & monitoring them. Bus drivers equally cause accidents and traffic. Has anyone thought about what all these people will do when they no longer have a means of income?
— 'Gbubemi E. Atimomo (@Oritsega) January 27, 2020
I don’t think any other group in Lagos has suffered more than the Okada riders. Banned, harassed, extorted, arrested, bikes seized w/o recourse to the law courts, beaten, assaulted by area boys & council thugs, beaten by other road users, banned…They aren’t saints, but…chai!
— #Risethebookby (@FemiJACOBS) January 27, 2020
Lagos State is bent on banning Okada in Lagos State. Imagine the thousands of lagosians that will be out of job. Opay, Gokada, MaxKada, Okada. pic.twitter.com/dVrk5xZ8KC
— NJOKU TOBY (alias OTUONYE) (@tobyjude58) January 27, 2020
Keke and okada out without alternative and the heavy gridlock of Lagos. Na now you go know say Lagos no dey sleep
— kayz Oluwaseun (@kayzmystic) January 27, 2020