Vows to flush out recalcitrant Okada riders
By Bose Adelaja
Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit (Taskforce) on Monday, said it impounded a total number of 11,300 motorcycles and arrested 9,664 suspects in the year 2021.
Out of the 11,180 motorcycles, the agency said 11,180 were crushed during the year under review.
The Taskforce Chairman, CSP Shola Jejeloye was disclosed this while reviewing the year 2021 at the Agency’s headquarters, Safety Arena, Bolade Oshodi said the 9,664 suspects were arrested for committing varying degrees of crime and were charged to court accordingly.
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According to him, there were a series of raids on black spots, illegal Okada parks, and arrests of traffic offenders at areas like Cele bus stop and Ogba where 84 okada and 20 tricycles were impounded for flouting plying restricted routes in the State.
He noted that the state will be uninhabitable to recalcitrant Okada riders who are hell-bent on frustrating the effort of the government in sanitising its highways and environment.
Taking a look at the achievements of the agency in the previous year, Jejeloye said that it had impounded 5,520 vehicles for various degrees of offences including driving on BRT corridor, driving against traffic, dangerous driving, and traffic obstruction, while the owners of the vehicles were charged to court according to the severity of the crimes committed on the roads. He said, “11,300 okada were impounded while 11,180 of them were crushed during the year under review. Suspects arrested for committing varying degrees of crime in the year 2021 came up to a total of 9,664. They were also charged to court accordingly.”
CSP Jejeloye further stated that he will leave no stone unturned in carrying out proper environmental monitoring and cleansing of shanties just as he did last year at Lekki Coastal Road, Railway Line, Ijora, White Sand, Breweries, and Iwaya in Yaba axis of Lagos.
“These shanties were built haphazardly without any form of environmental provision for waste disposal or drainage channels.
“That is why most of these areas are flooded and overwhelmed whenever it rains. We will not condone it any longer” Jejeloye noted.
The Chairman highlighted that “Wetlands which are very common attributes of a coastal State like Lagos, if not properly managed could worsen the flooding usually experienced during the rainy season. We will ensure they are not encroached upon by illegal occupants because that is why we partnered with other Millenium Development Agencies (MDAs), to reclaim wetlands like Odo-Iya-Alaro”. He stated.
Illegal mechanic workshops located at almost every corner in Lagos were not left out as CSP Jejeloye hinted that he has put in place a team of officers who are going to carry out extensive surveillance of key areas where most of these workshops are located and ensure that they are not just dislodged but the operators will also be charged to court for flouting the states environmental laws.
The CSP indicated that “in terms of Illegal workshops in nook and crannies of the State obstructing traffic on our inner, roads, disposing of their waste indiscriminately and polluting the environment. We had dislodged them at Maryland, Apapa, Surulere, Lawanson and other areas of the State last year, and we will do more this year”.
The Chairman of the Agency hinted that operation ‘Kogberegbe’ which was launched last year is still in force and that the state will ensure that it achieves its zero tolerance for criminal elements, blackspots, Okada operation on restricted routes, and other environmental law offenders.