Hausa leaders in Lagos State have urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to lift the prohibition on Okada activities in the state’s six local government areas.
Remember that the Lagos State Government banned the operation of commercial motorbikes, often known as Okadas, on Wednesday.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu made the declaration during a meeting of the state’s security agencies at the State House in Ikeja, according to Naija02.
According to the governor, the absolute prohibition on Okada in the six local councils will go into effect on June 1, 2022, and will be strictly implemented.
The restriction in the six local councils, according to Sanwo-Olu, is part of the state’s phase of outlawing okadas.
Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa are among the councils impacted.
Hausa community leaders told The PUNCH that Okada riders from northern Nigeria make up a large portion of Lagos’ voting populace.
They urged the state government not to put them out of business since they contribute to the voting populace.
Instead of a comprehensive prohibition, the Seriki of Obalende, Saliu Waziri, suggested that the government get data on Okada riders in Lagos in order to identify criminals among them.
“This issue has taken us a long time and we have been trying to put our members on the line. I want to advise the government to rethink its decision because Lagos can’t operate without bikes because of traffic. Government should register Okada riders in each local government to know those working in any local government. By so doing, the government would know who to pick when any issue arises.
“Some of our members stay here in Lagos and vote during elections. That should count for something because we contribute to votes during elections. The government should change the system of Okada riders not stopping them.”
Ibrahim Ngoma, the Seriki Hausa of Ajah, encouraged the government to take into account the voting demographic of Hausa Okada riders in Lagos.
“Truth be told, Governor Sanwo-Olu has been understanding with Okada people unlike Governor (Babatunde) Fashola. Okada members should obey the law while I appeal to Governor Sanwo-Olu to look into the matter and lift the ban before the election because the ban is affecting my people,”
Iliyasu Kira, an additional leader of the Hausa community in Lagos, asked with Governor Babafemi Sanwo-Olu to remove the ban.
According to the Seriki Hausa in Shasha, Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos, the governor should not make light of their voting populace.
“I appeal to the government to leave Okada riders to continue their operations. These Okada riders help the government during elections with votes. Our voting population in Lagos constitutes over 2.7 million because most of us vote here in Lagos. We are not all bad people.
“Many of our people are Okada riders in Lagos. If the government claims that robbers are rampant among Okada riders, then the government should sieve out the criminals. The government should provide replacement for our members affected by the ban.
“We don’t have the power to start any legal case with the government. This is why I am appealing with the government to reconsider the ban.”