Governor Babatunde Fashola
Emerging from a meeting with Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), leaders of commercial motorcycle operators popularly called Okada Tuesday pledged to comply with the new Road Traffic Law
The commercial motorcyclists also promised to self-enforce the law among their members.
At the meeting which had in attendance the leaders of the various associations of okada riders who spoke one after the other at the Banquet Hall of the Lagos House, Alausa, Chairman of the Motorcycle Operators Association of Lagos State, Tijani Pekis, pledged that the associations’ leaders would go ahead to sensitise and sanitise their members for total compliance, adding that the leaders would also help in the enforcement of the law.
Echoing the governor’s statement that obedience to the law is better than the sacrifice of lives of the people, Pekis declared: “The governor has asked us to go and comply with the law. The issue of 2010 is beyond 2012. May be then some of us did not take it serious but now we are out to sensitise and sanitise our members for compliance.”
The chairman, who described the governor’s address at the meeting as touching and human, said the address had made them to understand that the present administration meant well for them and interested in their future, adding that personally, he had obtained a written document from the state Commissioner of Police through the Operations Officer to enable the various unions enforce the law among their members.
He told newsmen after the meeting, “The governor has told us to obey before complaint and we are going out en masse to sensitise our members for total compliance. Every association, whether recognised or not will pick a date when they will go out to enforce the law. We will meet all the DPOs with the document from the Commissioner of Police to get enforcement backing.”
“One big statement that has been giving me problem since I sat here is, am I going to ask my child to come into this business? I think that question has personally knocked me out of the okada business”, the chairman said.
Earlier, in his address, Governor Fashola , who took time to explain the objectives of the law as the safety, good health and improved quality of life for all, urged okada operators in the state to comply with the law first before complaining promising that his administration was ready to listen and make operational changes where there are genuine complaints.
“Obedience to this law is better than to sacrifice the lives of the people. Go and obey first; our doors are open and we will be ready to listen to you when there is genuine complaint”, the Governor said, adding that compliance to the law was in the best interest of every citizen including the operators themselves.