Lagos crushes 3,000 Okada motorbikes

The state of Lagos has destroyed about 3,000 "Okada" commercial motorcycles which had been impounded for traffic violations following the introduction of legislation in August that restricted the vehicles' circulation in Lagos.

Since the law came into effect, members of the state taskforce on environmental and other special offences began seizing Okada vehicles caught on major highways, in contravention of the updated Lagos Road Traffic Law.

Many Okada drivers, who rely on their delivery vehicles for the livelihoods, claim the impounding exercise between August and September was a means by the government to rid the streets of Okadas.

However the task force chairman and superintendent of police Bayo Sulaimon said the vehicles were seized legitimately, saying "The ones [vehicles] that cannot be crushed will be auctioned, but not in the state, so that they don't constitute a nuisance again." He also warned that those who operate tricycles – known locally as Keke Marwa – in restricted areas also face having their vehicles seized by the law.

The Okada motorcycles are banned from many of the state's major bridges and main roads. The principal roads include Ikorodu Road, Funsho Williams Avenue, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos-Badagry Expressway and Lekki-Epe Expressway.