At least, 10 Bus Rapid Transport, BRT, vehicles were yesterday vandalized by protesting commercial motorcycle operators, popularly called Okada riders, at Onipanu, along Ikorodu Road. They were protesting the enforcement of the Lagos Road Traffic Law.
Following the violent protest, the Lagos State House of Assembly expressed concern over increasing lawlessness of commercial operators in the state and threatened to outrightly ban their activities if they refused to conform.
The violent protest which caused pandemnium 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.
It also caused heavy traffic gridlock along Ikorodu Road and others. It was learnt that the commissioner, worried by the flagrant disobedience to law, issued marching order to Divisional Police Officers, DPOs, in the state to mobolise their men for enforcement.
Vanguard gathered that several motorcycles were impounded in the process. As a result, the entire Awolowo Road up to Secretariat, Aluasa, were deserted by the motorcycle operators.
The aggrieved Okada operators were said 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. Governor Babatunde Fashola had on August 3 signed into law the new road traffic law.
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. According to one Mr. Emmanuel Abel, forced hundreds of passengers at the Bus Stop to scamper for safety.