The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is not a great fan of okadas. According to his government, okada riders pose a grave security risk to the state and are involved in too many road accidents.
To arrest the situation, the Lagos State government announced restrictions on the operations of okadas in Lagos on May 18th 2022.
But the okada ban is not exactly new
The Lagos State government has always been locked in an unending battle with motorcycles in the state. Restricting their operations is a rite of passage that every Lagos governor since 1999 has explored in one way or the other.
Governor Sanwo-Olu first announced a ban in certain areas in 2020, but enforcement was weak and the motorcycles continued operations. The latest ban is simply a reinforcement of the 2020 ban.
Jungle justice caused the latest ban
The latest ban is the government’s reaction to the lynching of a sound engineer, David Sunday, around Admiralty Way in Lekki Phase One. The Police allege that okada riders killed Sunday and burnt his body following a dispute over bike fare and have arrested seven suspects.
Which areas are affected by the okada ban?
Commercial motorcycles are completely banned in six local government areas (LGAs) and nine local council development areas (LCDAs). They are:
LGAs: Ikeja, Eti-Osa, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Surulere and Apapa.
LCDAs: Onigbongbo, Ojodu, Ikoyi-Obalande, Iru-Victoria Island, Lagos Island East, Itire-Ikate, Coker-Aguda, Iganmu and Yaba.
Is the okada ban restricted to just these places?
While the operations of motorcycles are completely banned in the 15 areas, the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018 also stops motorcycles from operating on highways and bridges anywhere in Lagos. This means riders can operate on the inner roads of the other 14 unaffected LGAs, but never on highways and bridges.
Kekes are also affected by the ban
Even though okadas have taken centre-stage in relation to the ban, it also affects commercial tricycles (known as Keke Marwa). They’re also banned in all the affected areas, as well as on all highways and bridges in Lagos State.
Enforcement of the latest okada ban starts June 1st 2022
Enforcement of the ban won’t start until June 1st 2022. The Lagos State government expects that there won’t be any motorcycles or tricycles in the affected areas.
Passengers will be treated as offenders
The Lagos State Police Force has warned that the enforcement of the ban will also affect passengers. This means if a rider is arrested for operating in affected areas, whoever is their passenger will also be treated as an offender.