The clashes between the police and ‘retired’ Okada riders by the Lagos State government was an eye opener on the danger that this cult of a people constituted to the peace and security of the state otherwise known as the Centre of Excellence.
First at Ijora Badia and later Iyana Ipaja, the clashes, which left in its trail many casualties including several other losses, had done nothing but vindicated as well as justified the decision by the state to ban the commercial motorcycles and their counterparts in the tricycle business.
Truth is that a majority of the riders are not captured in any data and therefore not taxable by the state, yet, they enjoy the facilities of the state made possible by others paying taxes. Who talks about commonwealth without common contributions? Two, they are the reason crime is on the rise in the state, because they are not only affordable and always available, they could also easily access anywhere at anytime.
Do you want to talk about the health hazard they pose through air pollution? The two-stroke engines of their motorcycles emit the most lethal carbon monoxide that could cause serious respiratory infections. Yet, a majority of the people does not know this.
It may appear a hard choice for the masses; it is actually the best the governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had done in this instance and at this time. The governor could consider what to do to assist those with accessible data and taxable by working out a framework that could reabsorb them into the labour market through other means possible, he cannot, however, reverse this rather laudable action that would see Lagos live up to its status as the Centre of Excellence.