ALL over the country, the nuisance of Okada and Keke’s riders has become a major subject of discourse. Being the commercial nerve centre of the country, it is not surprising that the activities of Okada and Keke riders have been very menacing at the nation’s ‘Centre of Excellence’.
In almost every part of the metropolis, Okada and Keke riders have constituted themselves into a nuisance. They ride recklessly, flouting traffic rules at will. And whenever they are apprehended by law enforcement agents, they resort to unbelievable acts of violence.
It is no longer news that, in Lagos, not a few Okada and Keke riders are fond of contravening traffic laws in irresponsible fashion. For instance, the BRT lanes are strictly dedicated for BRT buses, most of them flout the rule with impunity.
Sadly, the unruly penchant of these riders for disobeying simple traffic rules and regulations often lead to traffic snarls that give room for social miscreants to rob motorists of valuable items as well as other unsocial acts such as vandalizing of vehicles.
More so, most of them are quite lawless. They not only ride against traffic, they usually carry more than the required number of passengers, stop to pick passengers at un-designated places and over speed among many other dangerous acts. As earlier stated, each time they are stopped by law officers, they take to harassing, and even beating them up.
It is in view of the foregoing that one will really like to applaud the Lagos State government for recently coming up with the order restricting the activities of Okada and Keke riders. With this latest development, the state government has shown itself as one that takes a scientific and methodical approach to governance.
Indeed, there is no better way for the government to demonstrate that it is a listening one better than through such a well thought out measure.
Before now, a lot of us have been crying out loud in the social media and other such platforms against the unruly attitude of these riders in Lagos, especially in the past few months. For me, worst hit is the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway axis, where they have become astonishingly anarchic in their conduct. Well, many other residents have similar ugly experience in their respective axis.
They act as if there is no government in place. Any government that condones such impunity doesn’t deserve the respect of the populace. For all I care, the unruly attitude of these chaps far overshadows whatever good argument anyone might want to bring up in their support as a means of transportation.
Therefore, I see the order restricting their activities in the state as one primarily meant to protect the interest of the public. It is meant to ensure that people do not ride on Okada along routes that could put their lives and those of others in jeopardy.
Universally, one of the major responsibilities of government is the protection of lives. Hence, the Lagos state government is only performing one of its constitutional duties through the restriction order.
Motorcycles have worse pollution control mechanisms. The smoke emitted from bikes not only poses serious health risks like pulmonary diseases, but also contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer.
- Onyekachi wrote in from Lekki, Lagos