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Why Lagos Residents Should Embrace Restriction Ban On Okada,Keke Napep

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That Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has gone ahead to implement the restrictions or as some people call it, ban of the movement of commercial motorcycles (okada) and tricycles (Keke Marwa) is no news.

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The decision was met with criticism and condemnation of the government by several residents of the state owing to what they perceive as the inconveniences the policy or the decision would cause.

But beyond the inconveniences and disadvantages of the policy, it is necessary to trace the genesis of the restrictions and what it portends to the residents of the metropolitan city on the long run.

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It should be recalled that the restriction/ban of Okada operations as recently announced by the Lagos State Government is not a new policy.

The Policy predates the current government as it took off in 2012 during the tenure of former governor Babatunde Raji Fashola.

What the Sanwo-Olu Government did was just to effect the policy, which was neglected by the government of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode from 2015 to May, 2019.

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Going down memory lane, in March 2012, about eight (8) years ago, Governor Fashola announced a total ban of Okada from all major bridges and the whole of Ikeja.

This ban was instigated by the Nigeria Police, who had been hapless from the incessant rise in crime in the highly populated state.

Three months later, it was extended to parts of Surulere and Lagos Island. Specifically the Business district, parts of Victoria Island and Falomo, Ikoyi.

For the other areas, government decided to regulate Okada riders and came up with a licensing scheme which stipulated that Okada riders needed to learn how to ride bikes and must obtain a riders licence (As is applicable in most countries).

This they did in partnership with the FRSC. This scheme was ignored totally.

As a matter of fact the two main Okada unions took the government to court over this.

The FRSC ended confiscating over 15,000 bikes for non-compliance. Still, riders were going about undocumented.

At that time, there were just about 50,000 Okada’s in Lagos. The government also introduced the use of crash helmets due to incessant casualties from accidents. This too was largely ignored.

Today, there are over 250,000 Okadas with 78% of the riders being indigenes of Chad, Niger and Mali.

The significant rise was within the last 18 months. The most significant development that jolted the Lagos State Government was the recent influx of over 40,000 Nigeriens and Malians under the guise of looking for a means of sustenance as Okada riders.

They were all undocumented, with no form of identification whatsoever.

The Lagos State Government quickly set up a committee to look into this.

Early January, in trying to enforce registration in Apapa, Iganmu Orile, where we have the largest concentration of Okada riders from Niger and Mali, government ended up seizing about 150 Okadas, whose owners did not have riders permit.

Within a few hours, irate Hausa/Fulani youths invaded Apapa- Iganmu LCDA headquarters at Marine Beach, chased all the workers away and set the office complex ablaze and also vandalised vehicles within the vicinity causing millions of Naira in damage. No serious government would watch and not take action, most especially with the insurgency in the North East.

What we should note here is that there is a total ban on Okada in Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi and Niger State for security reasons.

Those, who did not study the situation properly have been condemning the government of Mr. Sanwo-Olu for its action.

However, they ought to know that Sanwo-olu’s government didn’t just wake up and effect the ban! It was as a result of a report presented by the Lagos State Security Council and they sought advise from the OPS as well.

The Corporate Okada companies were given ample time to implement government policy on the management of their riders but they simply just took the government for granted.

They felt that this is Nigeria, where people believe that anything goes.

In their own thinking government would not be that audacious with an outright ban.

With the millions of dollars raised at start-up, all the corporate Okada companies were interested in, was the revenue. They were interested in the N3,000 daily they were charging riders.

The companies became reckless after the Lagos State introduced N25M as annual licensing fees for 1000 riders and then N30,000 per bike thereafter.

This means that the companies would paying N295M if they had 10,000 Okada riders including tax and VAT on revenue generated.

Meanwhile the companies were earning over N1m per rider annually. They became very greedy and complacent and ceased to keep any verifiable database of the their riders with the required background checks. (This was largely done, to avoid charges).

The main concern of the owner of Gokada’ Bangladeshi was how to roll out Gokada in the thousands rather than making sure there was value added and compliance.

So most of this companies have themselves to blame. The Corporate Okadas market share in Lagos is less than 5%. TBC.

What the Lagos State Government is to sanitize the system and restore the lost glory of the state and make things work better in the centre of excellence.

The Sanwo-Olu Government means well for the residents of the state and this would be noticeable in its progressive programmes for the generality of the masses.

Residents of the state should commend the sensitivity of the Sanwo-Olu government to provide succour with the release of 65 buses and ordering additional 550 buses to ameliorate the challenge facing commuters.

The Governor knows the implications of the restrictions of the movement of okada and Keke Marwa and he is thinking outside the box on a daily basis to provide succour.

The major reason for the restrictions/ban should not be lost on the discerning residents of the state, it is meant to reduce crime and protect lives and properties as hoodlums have reportedly perfected the use of okada to commit crime with impunity.

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Mende Estate: Lagos homeowners decry demolition, seek compensation

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Mende Estate: Lagos homeowners decry demolition, seek compensation

Mende Estate: Lagos homeowners decry demolition, seek compensation

 

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Sadly, the residents of Mende Estate Villa in the Maryland area of Lagos State have decried the recent demolition of their multimillion naira houses in the area by the Lagos State Government while seeking compensation for a new shelter.

 

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Our correspondent, who visited the area on Sunday, observed how the estate’s homes were destroyed and how the occupants hastily packed their possessions to leave.

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Speaking with PUNCH Metro, some residents bemoaned how terrible it was to exit their houses without having a backup plan and a comfortable place to sleep.

 

 

 

 

PUNCH Metro had reported that the state Commissioner of Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, had said the demolition was needed to reclaim the Odo Iya Laro drainage channel.

 

Also, a popular Nigerian singer, Yemi Alade, had decried the demolition carried out at the estate while stating that such action would discourage those interested in investing in real estate in the state.

A member of the resident association who pleaded anonymity claimed that the residents tried to negotiate with the Lagos State Government but were ignored and that they were not given any prior notice before the demolition began on Saturday.

“The Lagos State Government came and said they wanted to demolish the place. They did not serve us any letter of demolition. We were negotiating with the government yesterday (on Saturday), and before we knew it, they just moved in with their bulldozer.”

 

He added that although there were miscreants in the estate, the security guards were making every effort to stop them from stealing their possessions.

“They have not told us what they want the estate for. All they said was that we were too close to the canal. Miscreants are everywhere, and the security officers are trying to prevent them from stealing anything because residents’ properties are scattered everywhere,” he lamented.

Another resident in the area, simply identified as Kayode, said the government asserted that the houses were too close to the canal and that they had yet to discuss with the residents.

Kayode added, “Nothing has been said so far. We are hoping that they will come and have a discussion with us. For now, all we know is that we have to move out. They do not care where we will move. They have started demolishing areas around a bridge in the area, and we never thought it would get to our area.”

 

He stated that the issue might potentially end in court, and he was hoping that the appropriate party would win.

“They said the houses are too close to the canal, but they should have known before now because before we all built all the houses, we got approval from the government. I am sure the issue will end up in court, and the court can decide who they think is right,“ he said.

Another resident, simply identified as Tega, claimed that the residents’ biggest nightmare came true when the government gave them two hours to leave their houses.

 

 

 

She said, “We did not get any prior notification. They gave us two hours to exit the estate. They told us yesterday (on Saturday). Most people have moved out since then, and we are just trying to get the pieces today. It is the worst nightmare for some of the families here.”

When contacted, the Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, stated that before the demolition, several meetings were held with the residents.

Omotoso said, “The government cannot be so heartless as to tell people to leave their homes in two hours. The Commissioner for Environment was on Arise News Television this morning (Sunday), and he explained everything.

“He explained how many years they had been at it, even before he came to office. On his social media page, he released a series of videos of meetings he had with them.

He added that the state Commissioner of Environment and Water Resources paid a visit to the estate two weeks ago and engaged in negotiations with the residents, adding that the community at large needed to be prevented from flooding.

“He was there last week and two weeks ago. It is not true that they were given two hours. They have been negotiating with them, but the thing is, we do not look at the larger picture.

“If we say one house must stay and the whole community will have to suffer when there is flooding, then that is not right. No one can exit them without prior notice in a country that is governed by law. Should they be compensated for building on drainage channels? I have never heard of that, and the law does not say so.”

 

@PUNCHNG

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Unknown Gunmen kill local vigilante

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Unknown Gunmen kill local vigilante

Unknown Gunmen kill local vigilante

 

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Unknown Gunmen have reportedly killed a member of a local vigilante and injured three others in Bakutumbe village, Ningi Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

 

Unknown Gunmen kill local vigilante

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The incident was said to have occurred at the weekend.

 

 

 

It was reported that the assailants, who also abducted four villagers, unleashed terror by shooting sporadically upon their arrival in the community.

A village source told DAILY POST that the gunmen headed towards Lukutu Forest after leaving the village.

He said one of the victims shot, Malam Dan Ladiyo, lost his life, while the wounded, namely Habila Garba, Nura Yakubu, and Sam’ana, are currently undergoing treatment at a medical facility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bauchi State Police Command is yet to confirm the incident.

When contacted, the spokesman of the Command, Ahmed Wakil, did not respond to calls and messages.

 

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Kemta-Ilugun-Obantoko road re-construction nearing completion as residents laud Abiodun

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Go after killers of Fatinoyes, Abiodun tells police

Kemta-Ilugun-Obantoko road re-construction nearing completion as residents laud Abiodun

Abiodun

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The re-construction of Kemta-Ilugun-Somorin-Obantoko road in Abeokuta by the administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun has reached 80 percent completion stage.

The 6.9km road serves as a major bypass linking Obantoko with Kemta-Idiaba.

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Abiodun

Repair work on the road has already increased economic and social activities of the adjoining communities.

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Sequel to the construction of the road, hotels, shopping complexes, private schools and modern buildings have been springing up in the area.

 

 

 

Residents of the area have been upbeat and happy that the construction of the road has become a reality after waiting endlessly for succour which did not come until Governor Abiodun came to their rescue.

Some residents said they had hoped that the location of the residence of Nobel Laurette, Professor Wole Soyinka in the area would spur the state government to do the road.

 

 

 

 

 

The residents also expressed surprise that the road construction is being done without their houses being demolished because, the immediate past government of governor Ibikunle Amosun had earmarked some houses for demolition to pave the way for the road project.

An excited resident, Mr Abimbola Ogunmuyiwa, said the new road had brought development to the area in different dimensions.

 

 

 

 

 

Ogunmuyiwa said: “We are very grateful to the administration of Governor Abiodun for this particular road construction which has improved life in communities in this area in no small measure.

“Before this road was constructed, getting home after the day’s work was very difficult but now you are at the Federal Medical Centre within 10 to 15 minutes, unlike before when you spent hours.”

 

 

 

 

 

A journalist, Ernest Nwokolo, who lives at Ilugun, said the construction of the road was a big relief to residents of his area.

Nwokolo said: “Though the road is not yet 100 per cent completed, it has been of tremendous help to the people and it has increased the value of properties in the area.

 

 

 

 

 

“With the construction of the road, one can now keep appointments because one does not need to wait for a very long time before getting vehicles to Idiaba and from there to other parts of Abeokuta metropolis.

“For those who drive their own vehicles, relief has come for them because it will now save them the money being spent on spare parts to repair their vehicles.

 

 

 

 

“Apart from saving the man-hours being spent before bursting out at Kemta Junction, the road has made the value of properties to appreciate. A plot of land that was being sold for N500,000 in 2018 is now being sold for N3million and above depending on how close it is to the main road. Some are sold for as much as N5million.”

The impact of the road is not only being felt by residents of the communities as people who commute daily from Osiele, Camp and Obantoko are now enjoying these dividends of democracy as the long man-hours being wasted in traffic on Obantoko-Asero-Adatan Road, is now over.

 

 

 

 

Dr Adewunmi Ayodele, a lecturer at the Federal College of Education, Osiele and whose house is at Laderin, said the road was a major relief for him and others that are living in the metropolis but working at either FCE or Federal University of Agriculture.

He said: “Before this road was constructed, I used to leave my house at Laderin by 6:15am and I won’t get to the office earlier than 8:30am due to the long hours spent on the deplorable Asero/Obantoko Road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“But now, I can leave my house at past seven and get to my office earlier than before because with this road, I just burst out at Somorin and off I go to Camp. It is a great relief for me and others working at Osiele and Camp axis.”

Also speaking on the impact of the road, a taxi driver, Mr Mudashiru Alao, commended Governor Abiodun for a job well done.

 

 

 

 

 

According to Alao, he can now carry passengers directly from Lafenwa to Osiele in a shorter time, unlike before when he spent hours in traffic.

Alao, who said the road is now an outer ring road to Abeokuta from Idiaba to Somorin Obantoko, expressed delight that his income had increased because he now prefers to ply Lafenwa/Obantoko/Osiele directly without wasting too much time in traffic, stating that people should reward the good work by supporting Abiodun’s second term election bid.

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