By News Desk
Activities in Iyana-Ipaja axis of Alimosho Local Government were on Wednesday halted for hours when commercial motorcycle operators popular called Okada riders clashed with officers of Nigeria Police attached to Lagos Taskforce on enforcement.
The clash occurred barely 24 hours after the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, vowed to intensify enforcement on ban of operations of Okada riders and tricycle operators also know as Keke Napep on specified roads and local governments of the state.
The Guild gathered that the protest degenerated into a riot with properties being destroyed, buses being burnt and innocent passersby being harassed and injured by okada riders as well as miscreants wanting to take advantage of ensuing chaos.
Witnesses had explained that the policemen and task force members had come to arrest commercial motorcycles and tricycles who had flouted the ban, and that this had resulted in a flare of tempers among the riders, resulting in the mayhem that had caused obstruction to all activities along that corridor for several hours.
Eye witness accounts claimed that guns and tear gas canisters had been shot to disperse the protesters, and that as a result of these, many innocent passersby had received varying degrees of injuries.
According to a resident of Iyana-Ipaja who decided to remain anonymous, he said, “This is my area. I got several calls while on the way to my office about this riot. Even my staff, who was sent on an errand came back with swollen eyes. We can only plead to the government to help us so that peace will reign”.
Another resident lamented on happenings and called on government to call the police to order, he said, “I got several calls from Aboru- Alabede, Pipeline, Shoderu and Bakare areas that police are raiding okada riders there and firing teargas. Even in the inner streets, residents had to run for cover. I spoke to my CDA chairman and he also confirmed the same thing to me,”
“This is not what Sanwo-Olu asked the police to do. These roads are not part of those restricted by the ban so why are the police harassing people going about their lawful businesses? It is only marwa and okada that ply this route because of the deplorable situation of the roads,”
” At this point, we can only as for government’s help to curb these police men for doing far beyond what they have been asked to”.