Thursday, October 25, 2012

Okada Riders Protest Lagos Traffic Law, Vandalize 10 BRT Buses

 Not less than 10 Bus Rapid Transport, BRT, vehicles were yesterday vandalized by protesting commercial motorcycle operators at Onipanu, along Ikorodu Road as they protest the enforcement of the Lagos Road Traffic Law.

The Lagos State House of Assembly expressed concern over increasing lawlessness of commercial operators in the state following the violent protest, and threatened to outrightly ban their activities if they refused to conform to the Traffic Law.
The violent protest which yesterday caused pandemonium and left many commuters stranded at various bus stops on the busy road and adjoining ones may not be unconnected to the aggressive enforcement of the Traffic Law in accordance with the order of the state Commissioner of Police.
The protest also had its toll on traffic as heavy traffic was witnessed along Ikorodu Road and others.
The Police Commissioner had earlier issued a marching order to Divisional Police Officers, DPOs, in the state to mobilize their men for enforcement of the Road Traffic Law due to the disobedience of the Okada riders. Several motorcycles were impounded in the process.
Due to this development, the entire Awolowo Road up to Secretariat, Aluasa, was deserted by the motorcycle operators.
The angry and aggrieved Okada operators were reported to have stormed the dedicated BRT Bus Stop as early as 9:00a.m, denouncing the enforcement of the law on 475 roads in the state, indiscriminate arrests and alleged extortion by men of the Nigeria police and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority. .
The protesters were said to have pelted every BRT vehicle they came across at Onipanu with stones and other dangerous weapons without considering the safety of over 50 passengers onboard.
The new Lagos Road Traffic Law which among other things prohibits the operation of commercial motorcycles on 475 Lagos roads was signed into law by Governor Babatunde Fashola on August 3.

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