Lagos govt to arrest policemen, military personnel riding motorcycles in restricted areas

• Okada, Keke replacement coming in April

Lagos State government, on Wednesday, issued a stern warning to uniform men flouting the State’s Transport Sector Reform Law, declaring that it was illegal for any security operative in mufti to ride commercial motorcycles on routes where okada and tricycles had been restricted.

The pronouncement came as part of outcome was part of a security meeting held at the State House in Marina, attended by commanders of all security formations in the state, and chaired by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Briefing the press after the meeting, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, said the enforcement of the restriction order would be executed with more force to completely keep okada and tricycles (Keke) away from the restricted routes.

The commissioner said members of the Security Council frowned at a situation in which uniform men flouted the State’s Transport Sector Reform Laws, warning security operatives, especially police officers and military personnel, to stop taking passengers on their motorcycles on restricted routes.

“We have just concluded the State Security Council meeting, where we reviewed the ongoing enforcement of Okada and Keke restriction order in the six local government areas. Matters concerning uniform men engaging in commercial motorcycle operation came up in our discussion and there has been an order restricting them from doing that.

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“Only a uniform man who is fully kitted and who rides a motorcycle as his own personal mode of transportation is allowed. If any uniform man ventures into commercial motorcycle operation or Keke, the action of such a person is illegal and such persons are going to be arrested if they are caught,” he warned.

Omotoso reiterated that the state would not relax the laws restricting okada and tricycles on the highways, commending Lagosians for standing firm behind the government in the ongoing enforcement of the restriction order.

Speaking further, the commissioner disclosed that, come April, the state government would be assuaging the pain being felt by residents by injecting buses of different sizes and capacities into the public transportation space to serve as an alternative to Okada and Keke.

“We are using this opportunity to inform Lagosians that the palliatives promised by the government will be coming very soon, most likely in April,” he said.

Omotoso said the government was not resting on its oars in providing required infrastructure that would improve traffic situation and transportation across the state.

He disclosed further that the government would be holding a ground-breaking ceremony on the long-awaited Red Line Rail Project, which, he said, would be held on March 25, adding that updates would also be shared on the ongoing Blue Line Rail Project being handled by Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).

On the closure of Eko Bridge, Omotoso said the government would work assiduously to lessen the pain of commuters plying the route, noting that the closure of the bridge was a necessary precautionary measure taken to avert any incident that might result into loss of lives.

He urged residents to continue to support the government’s efforts at securing the state, stressing that the Sanwo-Olu administration would deploy all resources to ensure the safety of lives and property in Lagos.

“About security, Lagosians should rest assured that the government is on top of the situation and that all is well. Every action we take is to show that we put the interest of Lagosians at heart and their welfare is on the front burner at all times,” Omotoso said.

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