Lagos and the Gains of Okada Ban


It goes without saying that the recent ban on commercial motorcycle and tricycle by the Lagos State Government did not go down with a majority of the people especially, the masses, who thought it was a deliberate move to clamp down on the poor of the society.

Indeed, the clashes at different times between some of the aggrieved riders and security agencies were indicative of the anger of the poor over the ban of their “crucial” means of transportation in a mega Lagos city.

But the government advanced different reasons the ban was inevitable and in fact, not negotiable. Apart from citing extensive security imperative of the ban, there was also the health dimension, which a majority of the people did not pay attention.

The fact that the engines of the common type of okadas used by a majority of the riders, produced the most lethal carbon monoxide, made it impossible for any responsible government to pander to sentiment at the risk of collective health of the people of the state.

Last week, however, there were indications the ban might have begun to pay off in the state. This fact was played up during a programme on the “Quality Air Update” by CNN, when they acknowledged that the Lagos air quality had gone up to 3 from 5 within less than a month of the ban. That’s victory for good thinking.