By ALEX OLISE
Barely 24 hours after the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, announced the total ban of motorcycle riders across selected routes in the state, police operatives, in their bid to enforce the new law even before the June 1st date, have met stiff resistance, as they clashed with some motorcycle riders in parts of the state, even as many were injured during the fracas.
There was sporadic shooting in the afternoon in major areas, such as Alakija, Barrack and Iyana-Iba areas of Lagos. Those areas are the major zones where motorbikes are known to be in large numbers.
The sporadic shooting had forced many road users to retreat as of press time.
Security personnel who spoke with The Trumpet at Mile 2 area of the state said, “I foresaw this coming, that banning of motorcycles will be met with strong resistance by the motorcycle riders.”
A top source also told The Trumpet that the same scenario played out at Apapa, as the motorcycle riders, majority of whom do not understand English, resisted arrest, which resulted in shooting by the police to disperse the large crowd.
It is on record that the Lagos State Police Command has lost no fewer than 10 of its personnel who tried in the past to enforce the ban on okada, acting on orders from higher authorities.
A senior citizen, Chief Ikechukwu Igwe, told The Trumpet that the trouble had just begun because Lagos is not a state where you can just wake up one day and give an order banning motorcycle riders without providing alternatives for them to survive.
The clashes between police and the riders came as some other okada riders, mainly Northerners, converged in groups pleading with the Lagos State Governor to change his stand, promising to come out en masse to vote for him in the coming general election in 2023.