The Lagos State Government has issued a 21-day ultimatum effective from June 25 to commercial motorcycle operators to desist from operating on all restricted routes in the state including all bridges and 475 routes among others.
The state government acknowledged that the enforcement of Lagos Road Traffic Law, 2012, was deliberately relaxed just before the election so that political parties would not capitalise on it or cheap political gains.
This was disclosed by Secretary to the State Government, Olatunji Bello, after a meeting with the leadership of commercial motorcycle operators at Lagos House, Ikeja where he stressed the need to restore good order on Lagos roads.
“We just held a meeting with the Okada unions on what should be done; we have held meeting with security agencies before now. Recently, we noticed resurgence of okada riders going back to their old ways.The complaint was that when the election was coming, the enforcement was relaxed and they went back. They asked us to give them sometimes. We felt there was need for two weeks of enlightenment, but they said it was too short,” he said.
Bello reflected on the enactment of the traffic law in August 2, 2012, noting that motorcycle accidents “sharply dropped; many hospitals felt relieved; and Igbobi and LUTH no longer had an influx of patients as a result of motorcycle accidents.
“We are not going back to that era again. Three weeks is not small, they have to go and enlightenment their members on the need to leave the road. We are not going back on enforcement, we need to save members of the public and the only way to do that is to restrict them. We relaxed during the election because we did not want crisis and violence and to avoid exploitation by political parties. We needed to avoid crisis at that time so that political parties will not capitalise on it. The enforcement will be in full force after three weeks,” he added.