BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI & MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
In line with the state’s determination to strictly enforce the traffic law, over 3,000 motorcycles, otherwise called Okada, impounded for various traffic offences by the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Other Special Offences were yesterday, destroyed to pieces by agents of the state government.
Men of the task-force who stormed major highways, particularly went after commercial motorcyclists, popularly called, ‘Okada riders’ who violated the order not to ply bridges.
The exercise which focused on the Third Mainland Bridge axis, led to serious traffic on Funsho Williams Avenue, Ikorodu Road, Oshodi, Yaba, Oyingbo and environs.
Commuters were also stranded at major bus stops due to few buses available while comm -ercial drivers seized the opportunity to hike bus fare.
Chairman of the Task Force, Superintendent of Police, Bayo Sulaimon, who supervised the operation at the Task Force Yard in Alausa, said the motorcycles were impounded within the period of August to September, saying that the government is determined to go all out to ensure that the operators comply with the dictates of the law.
He listed some of the offences to include riding on kerbs, driving against traffic and unauthorized places at late hours, urging operators to either comply with the law or face its wrath.
Sulaimon said: “This is to inform the operators that the law has started and there is no going back. The law has been passed, signed and gazzetted and we are going to crush all the crushable at our crushing plant in Oshodi to show our seriousness about enforcing the law.
The ones that cannot be crushed will be auctioned, outside the state, so that they don’t constitute a nuisance here again”.
Reacting to the protest staged by concerned motorcycle riders to the Office of the Governor on Monday, Sulaimon said, “They have the right to protest, but the government will be firm in what it does.
“The protest doesn’t in any way stop our job, as we come after those who intend not to obey the law. They will be arrested one after the other and we will be out there on a daily basis”.
He reminded that the Road Traffic Law did not ban the operation of commercial motorcycles but only restricted them on highways, bridges and some selected roads in local government areas.
Sulaimon also said tricycles, also known as Keke Marwa are restricted from operating in certain areas, warning operators to comply or risk being impounded.
On the menace of street urchins, popularly called, Agberos, Sulaimon said the government enforcement team will continue to clamp down on their hideouts, saying that government will not relent to arrest and charge anyone appreh- ended to court.