By Idowu Abdullahi,
Following restriction of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, activities within Lagos metropolis, the State Government has disclosed that its action has resulted in a massive decline in rate of Okada related accidents in the state.
Such reduction, according to government, was directly linked to restriction of commercial motorcyles in six Local Governments and along 475 routes including major roads, highways and bridges across the state.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, revealed that data from the State Police Command confirmed that Okada-rider accidents had reduced from 19 in January 2020 before the restriction order to one between February 1st and 20th.
Omotoso, through a statement made available to The Guild, on Sunday, described the reduction as evidence of government’s reasons for restricting okada activities, and stated that it was indication that Lagos roads had become safer for commuters.
He said that the Babajide Sanwo-Olu led government was a responsive administration, which made decisions only after considering Lagosians’ best interests, and that health and safety of commuters had been paramount in decision to restrict Okada activities in the state.
“Our able Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, did not just take a decision to restrict motorcycle activities and make things difficult for the public, he took the decision to safeguard the health and wellbeing of every resident of Lagos State,”
“The February lone accident, which happened on 02/02/2020 at about 1200 hours, involved a Hovo Sino Trailer with registration number GWL-315-XA, driven by one Shaibu Abdullahi, allegedly knocked down a Bajaj Motorcycle with registration number SMK-386-QA along Sagamu Road, by Cele Bus-Stop, Ikorodu”.
The commissioner explained that the rider, Walbe Deshi, and his passenger, who was identified as Sadiq Seyok, sustained severe injuries and were taken to Ikorodu General Hospital for treatment where the rider later died.
Omotoso reiterated that, though sad at the loss of life, it was a far cry from casualty rates recorded between January and December 2019, when there had been 168 commercial motorcycles accidents involving 226 victims, and which had left 201 persons dead.
He assured Lagosians of the present administration’s resolve to ensure safety and security of all Lagos residents, and gave assurances that palliative measures were being implemented by the government to provide enduring and permanent solutions to public transportation problems in Lagos State.
He maintained that present difficulty being experienced in the transport sector was natural for megacities that witness a huge influx of migrants, and assured that Sanwo-Olu and his team were experienced, insightful and dedicated to building permanent solutions to lingering issues in the traffic and transportation sector.
The Commissioner urged Lagosians to remain confident in Sanwo-Olu’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda, and implored residents to abide by all laid downs rules and regulations, saying that only by these will Lagos become a better state.
“Residents should remain confident that this administration is doing everything necessary to fulfill its promises under each pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda. There will always be challenges but strategies are being put in place to confront and surmount every difficulty arising from the need to accommodate the people who arrive Lagos daily to seek greener pastures,”
“Government will do its own part, I urge all Lagosians to do their too. Obey laws and follow regulations. Let us remember that no man can build Lagos alone, but together, we will take our State to greater heights”.