By Kennedy Mbele
Following the murder of 36- year-old sound engineer, David Imoh, by Okada riders, a group, League of Concerned Lagosians,LCL, has urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to save residents of the city from barbaric attitude of Okada riders.
It also called on the state governor to immediately ban the activities of commercial motorcyclists in the state, saying they pose dangers to lives and property.
The group in a statement by its President Chief Omowale Aro, said given the way Okada riders murder innocent Lagosians, it was high time government stopped them from operating in the state.
The statement titled: Should Government Wait Until Okada Riders Kill the Next Victim?, said it was surprising that Lagos has literally become the headquarters of Okada while the riders kill innocent people at will.
Imoh was killed and burnt after a misunderstanding over N100 change with an Okada rider in Lekki, Lagos.
According to the statement, ” we make this statement with heavy hearts given what has befallen our dear state, Lagos. It’s saddening and scary that our state has been turned into a theater of absurdity by Okada riders. How do we explain that Okada riders of no address are now terrorising innocent residents of a cosmopolitan state like Lagos? Who do we tell that Okada riders kill innocent Lagosians at will with or without provocation? Who will believe that Lagos Okada riders wield the power of life and death? Isn’t it unheard of that the list of Lagos residents killed by Okada riders increases rapidly? Is this happening in Lagos, you may ask? Yes, it happens in Lagos. This isn’t the first time neither is it the second nor third. Okada riders in Lagos are above the law. They own the roads in Lagos and you dare not challenge their unruly behaviors. They are ignorant of everything the way they find it difficult to observe traffic rules. They are always right, whether you are right or not doesn’t matter. They are bigger than the police and any law enforcement agent. No agent of the state has the balls to make them accept the norms of a civilized society like Lagos.
“They can pass death sentence on you even when they are obviously wrong. They seem to have the numbers on the streets of Lagos because other Lagosians look the other way whenever they attack innocent road users or passersby. They are everywhere in Lagos. They are the lords of the manor everywhere in Lagos. From Ojota to Second Rainbow, Abule Ado to Ajah, they unleash terror on Lagosians. Where’s government in all these? Obviously, the state government seems helpless.
“Could it be that they are overwhelmed by the numeric strength of the fellows of no address? One wonders why government is reluctant in banning their activities outrightly. Some northern states like Kano and Kaduna among others have banned Okada and heavens didn’t fall. Why is Lagos pampering them at the expense of lives, peace, civility and orderliness? Is it until they murder another David Imoh that a drastic action would be taken? The menace of Okada riders in Lagos require more than knee jerk reactions each time they destroy life and property.
“They are evil and shouldn’t be tolerated in the interest of peace and harmony in Lagos. Taking them out of Lagos roads require more than the Lagos State Traffic Laws that only exists in a reactionary way. It requires leadership that stems from having the ability to make unpopular decision for public good. We know that Governor Sanwo-Olu has the courage to banish Okada riders from Lagos. The best way to console the families of those killed so far in Lagos by these uncivilized people is to totally outlaw their activities and not the Lagos Traffic Law that has failed.”