Governor Babatunde Fashola
The Lagos State Security Council on Wednesday met under the chairmanship of the State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), with the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Mr. Tunde Sobulo, stating that with the enforcement of the state Traffic Law, the incidences of using commercial motorcyclists popularly called Okada for robberies would be checked.
Sobulo, who spoke in an interview at the Lagos House, Marina said situations where anybody boards a commercial motorcyclist for N3,000 from Iyana-Ipaja to Lekki or Victoria Island to rob people had been curtailed.
Also speaking alongside Sobulo were the Commanding Officer, NNS Beecroft Apapa, Navy Commodore Martins Njoku; Commander, 9 Brigade Ikeja Cantonment, Brigadier General Pat Akem; Commander, 435 Base Services Group Nigeria Air Force, Air Commodore Tony Omenyi; and the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Security, Major Tunde Panox.
He thanked members of the public for their understanding on the critical nature of theissue, adding that security agencies were getting the cooperation of the people on the enforcement.
While re-emphasising that there would be no going back on the restriction on commercial motorcyclists, Sobulo declared: “There are only few ones left and they are the ones that do not belong to any union. They are doing it on their own. And we have been assured by the union leaders that they are on their own.”
Sobulo, who vowed that the enforcement would continue, stressed that accidents involving commercial motorcycles was reducing by the day.
with a similar scenario being re-enacted in the case of using commercial motorcycles to rob in traffic or during closing hours.
“The accidents involving okadas is going to zero, using okadas to rob in the hold up during the closing hours has been reduced or even disappeared. Following people from banks to their houses to go and snatch their money has also disappeared,” he said.
He promised that by the end of the year, the crime rate in the state would have been reduced to the bearest minimum as there is no society without crime adding that the security agencies will keep on doing what they should do to safeguard all law abiding citizens.
The DCP Operations also acknowledged the support that the law enforcement agencies are getting from the State Governor and the assurance from sister agencies, who were also on the road with the Police and coming out with new ideas, new vehicles and new logistics to fight crime.
Sobulo also thanked the people for their support which has made the enforcement of the law a lot more effective even as he appealed to them to stop patronising commercial motorcyclists.”
“We also want to appeal to the people if there are no customers for this business, this people will go away. People should stop risking their lives by patronizing this okadas. What is happening now is that immediately we are sighted, the first thing that comes to the okada man’s mind is how do I rescue my motorcycle not even his life or the life of his passengers. People should stop patronizing them on the restricted areas. They are not banned. They are only restricted to certain areas”.
Sobulo, who also buttressed his point with examples said: “If you are standing by the Toll gate at Alakuko, you should look to your right; you will see vast land, community houses where these people can do their business without being harassed by any law enforcement agents. You look at the left; you will see Kollington, villages all over where they can do this business. They don’t have to come to the highway to come and commit suicide”
Speaking on preparations for the forthcoming National Sports Festival, Sobulo stated that all visitors, participants and everybody will be taken care of security wise, stressing that this is not the first time that the Police is managing such an event.
“We have mapped out areas of patrol, areas to put Police, the sports villages, the sports camps. There is no need for anyone to worry about the Games,” he assured.