Lagos delivered on its new tough law and order deliverables by effecting a ban on tricycles immediately.
Congestion from motorcycles and tricycles (Kekes) had become a normal spectacle given they are regarded as the cheapest and fastest mode of transport. Commercial motorcyclists are popularly referred to as Okadas, they snake their way easily through heavy traffic that marks the city roads.
The government is of the opinion that motorbikes are a major cause of accidents but most residents consider their existence as a necessary evil. Many young people depend on Okada for their livelihoods. A sizable number of those riders belong to various companies while the majority - their thousands - operate on their own.
The riders do not buy the rationale behind the ban. Despite their opposition to the new policy, the Lagos state government remains adamant. The first day of the ban was marked with widespread confusion as expected. Some people had no choice but to walk to work for miles.
The ban specifically excluded private motorcycle owners and delivery motorcycles. A few members of the public dissenting the new directive were arrested but there has been complete compliance of the directive since it went into effect.
Navigation through a city with over 20 million residents is not easy. For that reason, the Okadas have become an entire industry. They can navigate the route no matter how remote the destination or how poor the condition of the road.
In 2012, the state enacted a law that banned them from operating on major city highways. Before the law was enacted, the Okadas were already responsible for a huge number of accidents in the inner cities. Despite the measures put in place in the past, the level of compliance remained very low. The 2016 to 2019 period saw over 10,000 accidents registered in General Hospitals alone. Other concerns cited are their use as a gate-away avenue by criminals.
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Lagos bans popular Okada taxis