Statistics have shown that armed hoodlums who operate on Okada, are responsible for bulk of the crimes in Lagos State.
According to Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, hoodlums had found okada as a veritable means of escape from the scenes of crime.
According to him, crime reports from the field in the last five months have shown that the hoodlums are responsible for armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing, among others.
In his words, it has also been established that Okadas are being illegally used as a veritable means of conveying hard drugs from one point to another, as the consequences of spreading of hard drugs and its consumption are better imagined than said.
Odumosu made this known while appraising the security situation in the state at a stakeholders’ meeting in Ikeja.
The police chief said traffic robbery, carjacking, movement of arms and cash-snatching from bank customers had been traced to armed hoodlums who operate on Okada. He said a large section of Lagos populace had come to regard okada as a necessary evil, hence, government should take more drastic measures against their notoriety.
According to him, in the five months under review, January to May, one hundred and ninety-two Okada riders had died from two hundred and eighty accidents.
In his words, the number of deaths recorded in road accidents and crime committed with the use of Okada across the state, had assumed a worrisome dimension as the statistics had continued to rise.
He said available record in the command revealed that in January ninety Okada accidents occurred; February seventy-six, March one hundred and one, April eighty-four while in May till date thirty-four Okada accidents had been recorded.
Odumosu noted that out of the one hundred and ninety-two deaths, February recorded thirty-seven cases of deaths, March had fifty-eighty fatality cases while fourteen died within seven days in May. He revealed that Okada accidents on the roads were mostly caused by recklessness and lawlessness of the riders.
According to him, it was common sight in Lagos metropolis to see Okada operators ride recklessly on highways, facing oncoming road users, especially during peak periods. He urged the state government to provide further stringent measures that would curtail the excesses of commercial motorcycle operators.
Also, the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Shotobi asked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ban Okada operation outright in the state to win the war against insecurity.
He insisted that now is the time to totally outlaw ‘Okada’ in the state, adding that he had often told the governor that the right time might not come if we keep waiting for alternatives which might take forever; now is the time to stop the menace of okada riders who are very lawless.”
Lagos State chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Stephen Adegbite agreed with the traditional ruler. He said Okada and Keke Napep should not be part of the megacity, noting that activities of transport unions must also be checked if the state must secure residents and property.