January 21, 2017

Second Rainbow Bus Stop: Where motorcyclists are kings on the highway

Second Rainbow Bus Stop: Where motorcyclists are kings on the highway

•Okada riders taking over the road at Second Rainbow

By Ebun Sessou

When the Lagos State government decided to restrict the movement of commercial motorcyclists on major roads in the state, there were fears that the policy would not be sustained especially in some notorious areas . Oshodi/Apapa Expressway happens to be one of such areas. At the Second Rainbow Bust-stop area of Mile 2, there is a total disregard for law and order by the motorcyclists who rule as kings on the highway.

Not only do they drive against traffic but they also have taken over the entire portion of expressway without regard to other road users.

Despite the fact that police van is positioned there on a daily basis, these reckless motorcyclists have constituted themselves into a nuisance and do as they like without any challenge from the law enforcement agents. The policemen are overwhelmed. The motorcyclists have also been joined in this recklessness by the tricyclists, otherwise known as Keke Marwa or Keke Napep who have turned the highway to a park.

•Okada riders taking over the road at Second Rainbow

Traders have also taken the advantage of the chaos in the area to turn it into a market place as there is hardly anything that one cannot buy there.

Inside Lagos News spoke with a concerned observer in the area, Mr James who said the motorcyclists were constituting nuisance at that Bus-stop. He said, “I do not think the government can stop these people because they are more powerful than government. They go about their activities without thinking about the consequences. They run against traffic and accidents occur due to their impunity. Even the residents in the area cannot confront them. As you can see, most of them are Hausas, we have some jobless people who have also resorted to Okada riding and so, how can you stop them?”

Another resident lamented that, there has been increase in criminal activities as well as auto accidents due to the operation of the Motorcyclists. It is indeed an eyesore. They even assault policemen who try to caution them. They also beat up any car owner who is involved in any accident with them even when they are glaringly at fault. The Okada riders extend their menace to Apple Junction and to Berger Yard Bus Stop and beyond.

No doubt, every attempt by the Lagos State government to sanitise and restore order on the highways, particularly by promulgating traffic law has been jeopardised by the activities of these Okada riders. The ministry of environment should therefore wake up from its slumber. The Nigerian Police, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC and other law enforcement agencies should be on the watch before this problem escalates.

The FRSC, Lagos State Traffic Management Agency and the Nigeria Police should deploy patrol vehicles there to ensure compliance with traffic regulations. The enforcement agencies should also flush out corrupt officers among them who collect bribes to circumvent enforcement, as the real test of the law will be in its enforcement.