I had just started working at Stears when the Lagos state government banned okadas (again) in 2020. I remember how people flooded the highways and waited for long periods at major bus stops on my trip to work. Commuters fought to enter taxis or private vehicles driven by good samaritans who stopped by to take them closer to their destinations. The ban meant that motorcycles and tricycles could not ply major roads in several areas of the state, so many were stranded.
Next month, the Lagos state government will extend its okada ban to four of the state’s local government areas (LGAs). This extension will bring the areas under okada restriction to 10 out of 20 LGAs, representing 53% of the state’s total population.
One of the two reasons the state gave for this ban is security. According to the Lagos state government, okada riders compromise the security of Lagos residents because they facilitate robberies and kidnappings.
But ensuring insecurity goes beyond banning okada. The bans worsen unemployment that heightens insecurity, while other modes of transportation, such as buses, are also prone to robberies and kidnappings, popularly known as one chance.
That was more than two years ago. Before then, the Lagos state government had banned motorcycles at least once (in 2012).
About three months ago, the state government announced the same ban. Six (Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Apapa, and Surulere) out of the