By Bose Adelaja
For the fourth time within a space of three weeks, motorcycle operators popularly called Okada riders took to the streets to protest the decision of Lagos State government to ban their operation on the high ways in Lagos State with effect from December 31.
Brandishing various weapons and singing solidarity songs, they converged at Owode Onirin along Ikorodu road to protest the ban. Carrying placards some of which read: ‘’No to LASTMA, Fashola, leave us alone, don’t disturb us…’’. they sat on motorbikes which they used to barricade both sides of the road.
They argued that the ban would worsen their impoverished status. They cordoned off the Owode -Onirin bus-stop, very close to AP filling station. On sighting the protesters from afar, some uniformed law enforcement officers took to their heels to avoid being attacked.
The protest brought traffic in the area to a stand-still for several hoursas Police men from Owode Onirin Division battled endlessly to dislodge the protesters. They only succeeded when some Mobile Policemen arrived the scene from Ketu Division.
Although no life was lost, several people were injured as people scampered for safety. One of the protesters Saheed Lukmon told Vanguard Metro VM that they were also protesting the arrest of their members on the Ikorodu road last Tuesday.