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“We can not continue this way!” – Lagosians protest ‘okada’ restriction

Lagosians have continued to groan under the
weight of the new traffic law which placed restrictions on the operation of
commercial motorcyclists on major highways in the state.

Many Lagosians have now resorted to trekking
long distances to get to their destinations – a proposition which has not gone
down well with most.

 The Lagos State government recently signed
into law a new traffic law which, restricts the use of
motorcycles on major highways to ensure the safety of road users and maintain
sanity on the highways.

Several commuters and motorists spoke to
reporters saying the policy was not well thought out because it had only
imposed hardship on the people.

“I really don’t know the purpose of a law. Is
it to make the people suffer or to provide relief?” a woman, who simply gave
her name as Janet, said in Ogba, a suburb of the city.

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Janet said she usually took commercial
motorcycles popularly known as ‘okada’ as buses do not ply her route.

A motorist, Emmanuel Achubi, said he had to
call his office that he would be late for work after being held in traffic for
about two hours on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.

Another road user, Niyi Onanubi, said,
“Higher fares, stranded commuters; these are what you get when a few people
think they know what’s best for 18 million others.”

 A passenger who gave his name as Cosmas said,
“From CMS to Bar Beach/Eko Hotel, we used to pay N100 but now, drivers have
increased it by 100 per cent. The most worrisome is that as short as the
distance is, it will take you close to one and a half hours to get there
because of gridlock.

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Okadas, which used to help us in
such a situation, have been chased away. Government must rescind its decision
in the interest of the people. We are suffering seriously and the situation
cannot continue like this.”

The absence of ‘Okadas‘ and the
scarcity of commercial buses have put undue pressure on the Lagos State Bus
Rapid Transit (BRT) service with passengers seen on long queues to board
available ones.

The hardship witnessed by commuters all
around the state has been made worse by the apparent fuel scarcity and
preparations for the Sallah break.

Tireni Adebayo

Tireni Adebayo is the Editor of Kemi Filani News.She has BSC in Mass Communication from the Redeemer's University and M.A in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos (2014 - 2015) where she majored in Public Relations and Advertising and Digital Media.  When she is not writing, she is either listening to music or reading her favorite books.Tel: +2348000000901 Address: Herbert Macaulay, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria Email: [email protected]

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