VIDEO: Lagos Task Force officials, okada riders clash close to NewsClick Nigeria Media office

...arrest erring riders, impound hundreds of motorcycles

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There was pandemonium on Tuesday at the Oko-Oba axis of Agege in Lagos State when officials of the Lagos State Task Force clamped down on some commercial motorcycle (popularly called okada) riders.

NewsClick Nigeria reports that the Lagos State Government had in 2022 placed a ban on commercial motorcycle operations in some Local Governments and their respective Local Council Development Areas. Last November, 1,500 seized motorcycles were destroyed on the Lagos State Task Force premises in Oshodi following the clampdown by the state government on okada operators said to have returned to the roads.

While enforcing the ban and seizure of the motorcycles on Tuesday on Agric road in Oko-Oba (close to NewsClick Nigeria Media office), the Task Force operatives faced initial resistance from the riders who in the process pounced on one of the female officers.

The attack on the female officer by the irate okada riders went on for some minutes before arrival of back up team who not only rescued the attacked officer but arrested some of the marauding riders.

One of the officers who spoke in confidence to NewsClick Nigeria confirmed that the operation was to enforce the subsisting ban on motorcycle operations. He said the operation was not peculiar to Agege as similar ones have been carried out in other LGs and LCDAs.

“What you see us doing here is enforcement of the subsisting ban on motorcycles. It is not new. Just last week, we were at other places and over 400 motorcycles were confiscated. Those who are putting up some form of resistance or attack on our officers have been arrested and will be charged to court,” he said.

NewsClick Nigeria reports that the Task Force Chairman, CSP Shola Jejeloye had earlier said the ban and enforcement will be total.

In a statement on Sunday, spokesperson for the agency, Gbadeyan Abdulraheem, said a total of 470 motorcycles were seized in a weeklong operation in the state.

Abdulraheem, in the Sunday statement, said, “The operation, spanning various strategic locations, including Berger, Fagba, Dopemu, Iyana Ipaja, 2nd Rainbow, FESTAC, First Gate, Alakija, Mile 2, Ilasan, Maroko, Lekki, Ikota, and Chevron, resulted in the confiscation of 150, 120, and 250 motorcycles, respectively, from these areas.”

He quoted the Chairman, Jejeloye, as saying, “Any right-thinking okada operator would, at this point in time, realise that it is no longer business as usual. Our operations have been precise and consistent which indicates that there is no room for okada in Lagos.”