A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos State and former Commissioner for Transport and Health, Dr Segun Ogundimu, has called on Governor Babatunde Fashola to have a rethink over the ban on the operations of commercial motorcyclists in the state.
The medical doctor turned politician, who was also former chairman of Lagos State Water Corporation and Petroleum Products Distribution and Monitoring Committee, stated in a statement made available to Political Platform that the law relating to the activities of the commercial motorcyclists popularly called okada riders should not make the governor to lose sight of the need to protect the travelling public.
“When an aggressive mosquito lands on ‘the place,’ caution is necessary to get rid of the pest, else the force will break ‘the place’ and the mosquito will escape,” he said
Comparing the challenges of transportation during his time as transport commissioner with what obtains now, Ogundimu said the challenges include increasing population of ill-kitted and untrained okada operators, some of whom were graduates and non-indigenes, whose primary aim was to eke a living out of the yawning gap in the state’s provision of public transportation; increasing tendencies of operators to be hired by negative groups to perpetrate nefarious activities state-wide, especially rendering services to people of questionable characters; active and outright participation of operators in armed and unarmed crime as being reported by security operatives; increasing violation of traffic laws e.g. riding against traffic with overloading; increasing road traffic accidents with serious orthopaedic consequences to outright death of one or both rider and passenger.
“No doubt, these are very worrisome challenges confronting your Excellency but I make bold to say with respect sir, that theses challenges are not serious enough to attract such reactions currently plaguing and incapacitating the travelling public, a blackish I want to believe was not thought of ab-inito.
“I call on you to please revisit the issue and work out a master plan on how to accommodate these avoidable challenges. I believe in strong regulation rather than outright ban. Implementing stronger regulation will even generate more jobs among these unemployed graduates in search of a livelihood.
“If you will put aside our political differences I am willing, for the sake of the Okada riders and the travelling public, to share notes on how to salvage this ugly situation.