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Lagos To Ban Okada Next Week, Police Seize 480 Guns From Okada Riders

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THE Lagos State government is expected to launch a new transportation policy on Tuesday, with the governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, making a big announcement on okada operation in the state.

If he decides on a statewide ban, the direction in which everything is pointing is expected to follow in days ahead, with serious socio-economic and even political implications and consequences.

In an interview, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, gave hints to know that it is already morning for okada riders in the state who, over the time, had become notorious for deadly mob actions, jungle justice and societal nuisance.

According to findings, the state government will be rolling out the first 500 First and Last Mile buses same day to ply the routes currently open to okada.

An official of the state Ministry of Transportation told Saturday Tribune that no okada must henceforth be sighted in the Lagos metropolis after the launch, adding that the scheme signifies a total eradication of commercial motorcycle operation in the state. More than 300 okada have been reportedly impounded by the state authorities in the last three weeks in preparation for the new scheme. According to the source, “as more buses are rolled out across routes in Lagos, that means okada is gone forever.”

Asked if the government is planning to engage some of the okada operators in the new initiative, the source said they were not part of the programme, adding that before now, they were asked to form themselves into cooperative under the National Union of the Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to see other initiatives of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) they could key into but they allegedly refused.

It is estimated no fewer than 400,000 okada ply Lagos’ roads on a daily basis.

Spokesperson of LAMATA, Mr Kolawole Ojelabi, said more information about the new busses replacing okada on Lagos routes would be communicated by the time Governor Sanwo-Olu launches the initiative on Tuesday. Although this is not the first time the state authorities would be pronouncing ban on okada in the metropolis, it is the first time an immediate alternative is being provided.

Tolerated for too long?

In 2012, former Governor Babatunde Fashola signed into law, the Lagos Road Traffic Law 2012, which restricts okada operation in at least 492 of the 9,200 roads across the metropolis.Today, the okada operators have returned to all the roads they were banned from with ferocious impunity.

The law spells out the offences and punishments attached. For example, commercial motorcycle operators are not to ply major trunks such as Ikorodu Road, Funsho Williams Avenue, Apapa-Oshodi Express, Lagos-Badagry and Lekki-Epe expressways, including all routes in Ikeja.

Specifically, Section 3 (1) of the traffic law prohibits the riding, driving or propelling of a cart, wheel barrow, motorcycle or tricycle on the major highways in Lagos.

Former Governor Fashola also lamented the rampant cases of accidents caused by okada. Records show in 2012 that Lagos alone had 2,555 accidents within five months, out of which okada accounted for 1,762 or 69 per cent. The National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, has a ward that his dedicated to okada accident victims.

One of the spokespersons of the Lagos Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit, who did not want his name in print, stated that between January and April, 3,503 okada were impounded by the agency, with more than 300 seized in the last three weeks.

He said: “Three days ago, 92 motorcycles were impounded around Jakande/Ejigbo axis. Eighty-two okada were impounded at the same location two weeks ago. Some of these okada riders don’t obey traffic rules; they go on one-way and insult motorists and officers on duty. Besides, there are lots of infiltrations among them; no regulation, anybody can wake up and ride okada to perpetrate crime.”

According to him, these impounded motorcycles, based on state government’s policy, would be taken to where they would be crushed.

Decrying the perceived untoward attitude of okada riders, an online publisher, Mr Gabriel Akinnadewo, on his Facebook page, wrote: “Governor Sanwo-Olu must come down hard on these okada-riding characters. A parallel government is pitiably taking shape. What happened in Ogba today is despicable.”

A responder, Mr Emeka Alex Duru, said: “You need to witness what they did at LASU end the other day. I am beginning to suspect that there is a lot to those guys than we may know.”

Another person, Simon Osigwe, said: “At Mile 2, okada riders are a government of their own.”

Mr Sola Ojewusi warned: “We are sitting on a keg of gun powder. Okada is taking over the nooks and crannies of Lagos.”

320 operators arrested, 480 guns siezed

Appraising the security situation in Lagos, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, said between January and early May, 320 commercial motorcycles were arrested in connection with 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 guns of various calibres siezed from them.

During the same period, the commissioner said, okada accounted for 83 per cent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos.

He said: “The menace of okada operators does not end with avoidable accidents. Crime reports from the field have shown that a greater percentage of crimes ranging from armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing to traffic robbery, carjacking and cash snatching from bank customers are attributable to hoodlums who operate on okada.

“The nuisance constituted by the okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law-abiding citizens.

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Yung Zeelee, C.E.O/Founder Of TRENDJAMZ MEDIA & 47trends, Music Blogger/PR, Web Developer & Computer Engineer, bring you the Nigerian News, Music and All Informative Messages On This Medium. Connect With Me Via: Twitter: @Iamyungzeelee1 Instagram: @Iamyungzeelee Facebook: Yung ZEELEE MD Zillz Call/Whatsapp: +2348074130688

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“VPN Exposes Your Bank Account Numbers, Stop Using It,” Lai Mohammed Warns

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Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has sent out a stern warning to Nigerians using Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access Twitter.

Recall that weeks ago, Federal Government suspended popular microblogging platform, Twitter, saying that the platform is capable of causing war in the country.

In a new video shared by OAK Tv, Lai Mohammed warned Nigerians to stop using VPN to access Twitter.

He further stated that VPNs can expose one’s entire data including bank account numbers which isn’t safe.

Lai Mohammed added that Nigerians should think of a way to create an app that can replace Twitter and it would be patronized by other countries.

Watch video below:

Lai Mohammed advises Nigerians to stop using VPN to access Twitter 🎥: OAKTV pic.twitter.com/abSYhIjMUh

— Gistlovers.blog1 (@Gistloversblog1) June 23, 2021

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Face Real Problems, Twitter Isn’t Food — Hon. Muhammad Tells Nigerian Youths

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Fatahu Muhammad, a member of the House of Representatives from Katsina State’s Daura Federal Constituency, has justified Twitter’s ban in Nigeria.

Mr Muhammad believes that social media ought to be regulated in order for young people to prioritize Nigeria and address real-world issues. The congressman expressed displeasure in Nigerian youth, saying that Twitter was not the meal that Nigerians needed.

The congressman stated this on Tuesday during an investigation into the suspension of Twitter held by the House joint committees on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, as well as the National Security, Justice, and Commerce.

“For God sake, what is social media? Are we eating social media? Let us go back to the resources, and harvest them, and let keep this thing aside, and face the real problem in Nigeria,” he said.

He added that if Twitter was not suspended after they pulled down Buhari’s tweet, the insults to the sovereignty of Nigeria would have been more. “We should please regulate the media. If the minister did not ban Twitter on the instruction of the President, the kind of insults to the sovereignty of Nigeria from the users of Twitter would be more than what we are facing. Let us tell ourselves the truth, Nigeria comes first.

Sometimes, when I am reading tweets, I am disappointed with the youth because we are the future of Nigeria,” he added.

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NIN Enrolment: We Need N25bn To Buy Storage Servers — NIMC

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The National Identity Management Commission has proposed spending N25 billion on additional servers to store National Identity Number enrolment records. On Wednesday, it will present its proposal to the Federal Executive Council.

Aliyu Abubakar Aziz, the Director General of NIMC, revealed this on Tuesday while testifying before the Senate Public Accounts Committee, which is investigating the agency for alleged non-compliance with the Public Procurement Act in the award of a N229 million contract.

He said 57 million persons have, so far, been registered, adding that 90 servers were needed to register 100 million Nigerians. “For us to reach 100 million, we will need 90 servers. We have enrolled 57 million as of today. We will ask for N25 billion at FEC tomorrow to buy more server to take the whole of population,” he said.

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