The Chairman, Lagos State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Engr Adedeji Doherty, has called on the state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to reconsider the recent ban on Okada and Keke Marwa from plying some major roads and bridges in some parts of Lagos, warning that the sudden loss of income occasioned by the ban can easily create hardship as well as unnecessary and very serious security challenges in the state.
Doherty said this on Tuesday in a statement made available to newsmen, even as maintained that he was not against an overhaul of the sector, recalling that he had way back in 2013 demanded strict regulation within the transportation sector.
This was just as he urged that with the ban now in place, the state government must ensure it accelerated the commissioning and implementation of the Lagos light rail network as any other palliative would just be temporary.
“The commissioning and Implementation of the Lagos light rail network should now be accelerated as any other palliative would just be temporary,” he said.
According to the PDP chieftain, the state government should have considered the significant disruption such a ban would create bearing in mind that around 70 percent of Lagosians use bikes and tricycles as a means of transportation.
Doherty argued that the introduction of Okada and Keke Marwa, which he described as alternative means of transportation were as a result of poor planning in the transport sector, noting that such introduction had led to a significant deficit in transportation and the never-ending traffic jams in the city.
The PDP chairman further argued that it was common knowledge that the Lagos State government’s inaction to regulate properly at inception had created a disorganized and security hazardous industry which over the years had blown out of proportion and become a huge security challenge to Lagosians.
He, however, said such an overhaul in the sector was long overdue but would be better received and better implemented “if there were proper stakeholder engagement and palliative measures put in place to prevent disenfranchisement of the already organised bike transport companies like Gokada, Opay, SafeBoda, etc.”
“Such deep discussions and the palliative measures would also have prevented the thousands of suddenly stranded commuters and thousands of suddenly unemployed citizens as is currently being witnessed,” he said.
Doherty enjoined Governor Sanwo-Olu to reconsider his decision especially for the organised bike companies and immediately call for a stakeholder engagement where the concerns and plans could be discussed in greater detail.
According to him, no policy however well-intentioned can be said to be in the interest of the people if it is not clearly communicated and discussed with stakeholders and a mutual agreement or understanding reached.
He suggested that the state government must set up minimum qualifications in line with “compulsory rigorous global standard,” Okada and tricycle riders must meet in order to minimize the ever-growing accidents caused by careless and untrained ones, just as he urged those affected by the policy not to take laws into their hands but instead explore all meaningful avenues to seek a resolution.