GOVERNOR Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State has been given a seven ultimatum to lift his recent ban on motorcycle and tricycle taxis known in local parlance as Okadas and Kekes or get dragged to court and face mass action protest.
Earlier this week, Governor Sanwoolu announced severe restrictions on Okada and Keke usage across the state, forcing thousands of drivers into unemployment. Police were out in full force seizing erring vehicles and mobility technology companies like Gokada, ORide and Max.ng, who have invested about $100m in the sector, face going bust.
Over the last few days, there have been widespread demonstrations across Lagos as taxi drivers have clashed with the police. Stepping into the crisis, civil society group the Save Climate and Democracy Naija Coalition, issued the governor a seven-day ultimatum to lift the ban or face a lawsuit.
Ayo Ademiluyi, the group’s spokesman, said: “The group hereby issues the Governor Babajide Sanwoolu-led Lagos State Government a seven-day ultimatum to cease and dissipate on February 11, to reverse the ban on Okada and Keke operators. We shall on the said date hold a citywide “#tackbacklagos protest.”
He lamented that the ban without an entire upgrade of the existing transportation system and industrialisation to absorb the large army of the unemployed will lead to crisis. Mr Ademiluyi further wondered why the government failed to put the palliative measures in place before the order.
“We have been proven right as the chaos and anarchy is here for everyone to experience. Lagosians have been trekking long distances like the Biblical Children of Israel,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lagos State chapter or the ruling All Progressives Congress has lambasted Jimi Agbaje, for condemning the ban. Mr Agbaje, a former Lagos governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party had said formal operators that have thus far regulated themselves should be allowed to continue.
The ban on the operations of commercial motorcycles and tricycles in six local government areas and nine local council developments councils came into force on February 1.
Seye Oladejo Lagos State APC spokesman noted that Mr Agbaje’s comment was a futile attempt to teach a government well grounded in intellectual and institutional experience how to plan. He added that Mr Agbaje had relative and inconsequential experience in business and zero idea about governance at any level.