Bode George On Okada Ban: Sanwo-olu Acting Like Someone From Stone Age
Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday came down heavily on Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu over the restrictions on commercial motorcycles (okada) and tricycles (keke) in some parts of the state.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Daily Independent, George said while it is true that there is insecurity challenges and a need to address it, placing outright ban on okada and keke is not the proper way to address it but will rather make the situation worse as those affected will resort to criminal activities.
While also lamenting the hardships some Lagosians are being subjected to on account of the ban, George, who is the Atona Oodua of Yorubaland said some private citizens who also use motorcycles to transport themselves to their workplaces are now being forced to trek to their offices.
“Yes, there is this issue of insecurity. People have said most of the okada riders put AK-47 and daggers in their motorcycles and so on. My belief is that you do not because you want to get rid of them now clear those who are innocent”.
“That is not a good policy. I believe when the governor and his team went to their tactical room in Lagos, they didn’t think it through”.
These people are at the base of the pyramid. If you believe that they actually voted for you, you won’t pay them back or reward them by taking away their means of livelihood or subjecting them to untold hardship.
“You don’t pay back people like that, you consider them. How will they have an income to feed their families, pay the school fees of their children? Some workers can’t afford a car, but they have motorcycles which they use to transport themselves to work. You are now telling them to get these motorcycles off the road and start trekking to their workplaces. What alternative means of transport have you provided?”
On the way forward, George advised Sanwo-Olu to regulate the activities of the operators so that anyone who flouts the law is apprehended and punished.
“These people are behaving as if they are in the Stone Age. If you talk about security, let these okada riders go and register in their respective local governments. There is data processing to capture their faces, fingers, the plate number and so on”.
“If they find any of them committing crime, first they look at that number and fish the culprit out. If the person said ‘I wasn’t the one who drove the motorcycle when the offence was committed’, he will be asked to produce the person who drove it”.
But if you just place outright ban on them because of security, you are now making it worse because they will revert to things that are anti-social. Then, what do you do Mr. Governor? You don’t allow them to eat but you can have you three square meals with your colleagues in Alausa and you think you will sleep well at night?”
“It’s just like the Amotekun issue. Other South-West states embraced it but Lagos state said they will not be part of it because they already have Neighbourhood Corps. Who knows any goddam neighbourhood corp?”
“I have been living here for a couple of years, yet I haven’t seen a single neighborhood corp member. While everybody is heading to the West, the Governor of Lagos is heading to the East. No human being can be at the top perpetually, there will be the day after” he said.