……. As  Gridlock Persists On Lagos Roads, Security Operatives Arrest Dissidents

In spite of the ban and restriction of commercial motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles (Keke) by the Lagos State Government, the usual traffic congestion in the metropolis continued on Monday.

But, there was no significant difference in traffic situation in the metropolis, compared to when the operators were not banned.

The gridlock along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Agege Motor Road, Oshodi-Isolo and some other parts of the state continued.

The usual gridlock at Iyana-Ipaja, Iyana-Dopemu, Cement, Ile Zik, Ikeja Along, Bolade Oshodi, Under Bridge and other places persisted in spite of the ban and restriction of `Okada’ and `Keke’.

The corridors, which had been known for unrestrained operations of motorcycles and tricycles, were devoid of such operations from Iyana-Ipaja to Oshodi.

The security operatives comprising the Police, Anti-Robbery Squad, Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps (LNSC) and officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) were on ground arresting the dissidents.

Some of the officers chased commercial vehicles flouting traffic laws and regulations along the corridors.

Some of the operatives were armed while others held tear gas and sticks to clampdown on recalcitrant motorcycle and tricycle operators and motorists.

A large number of commuters were stranded at Kola, Ile-Epo, Iyana-Ipaja, Iyana-Dopemu bus stops, seeking vehicles to convey them to their offices on the first working day after the ban and restriction.

While many were grumbling and complaining over the ban of `Okada’ and `Keke’ in most bus stops, some others resorted to trekking from Iyana-Ipaja to Ikeja and Oshodi.

A Commuter, Mr Saheed Raheem, urged the state government expedite action on the Oshodi-Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor to reduce the pains of people living in Alimosho.

Raheem said: “Things are no longer the same. Things are not easy for commuters, especially those of us living along this Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.

“I think government should have waited until the inauguration of this our BRT here. It would have reduced the stress.

`When I couldn’t get a bus, I started trekking with others to Ikeja.”

Another commuter, who simply identified herself as Mummy Abigail, said that the times were bad for the nursing mothers who had to move their children to wherever they go.

She pleaded with the Lagos State Government to put to use the BRT corridor on Oshodi-Abule Egba.

Mrs Tosin Adebayo, a trader at Oshodi, said that the pain created by the ban was huge, urging the government to do more in reducing the plight of commuters.

At Onipanu, Mr Sayo Ogunsakin, a retired civil servant, described the ban as good in reducing `Okada-related accidents’.

Ogunsakin said: “We were not born with Okada. These deaths were too many with Okada.

“We will all adjust to this new development.”

However, the ban in Surulere, Lagos Mainland and Apapa Local Government Areas (LGAs) ended the usual crowding, loitering and lawlessness of motorcycle and tricycle riders at Costain Roundabout, Ijora, Apapa road and Ojuelegba.