Leaders of the Hausa community in Lagos State have appealed to governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to reverse the ban placed on Okada operations in six local government areas of the state.
The governor had on Wednesday banned Okada operations in the affected local government areas and nine development councils following the killing of a sound engineer by Okada mob after an argument.
The affected councils are Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland and Apapa.
The governor said, “We will not sit back and watch criminally-minded people use that mode of transportation (motorcycles) to perpetrate crimes and criminality in Lagos. Lives are being lost on a daily basis, preventable accidents are happening every day and the riders are not respecting any of our traffic laws.
“The situation has led to a complete breakdown of law and order. This ban has come to stay and we will not tolerate any weakness in enforcement.”
But Hausa leaders in the state on a swift reaction have appealed to the governor to rescind his decision as the ban will affect the economic wellbeing of their people.
They also admonished the government to consider the voting population of Hausa Okada riders in the state.
“I want to advise the government to rethink its decision because Lagos can’t operate without bikes because of traffic. Government should register Okada riders in each local government to know those working in any local government. By so doing, the government would know who to pick when any issue arises.
“Some of our members stay here in Lagos and vote during elections. That should count for something because we contribute to votes during elections. The government should change the system of Okada riders not stopping them,” Seriki of Obalende, Saliu Waziri, was quoted to have said.
On his part, Seriki Hausa in Shasha in the Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos said, “I appeal to the government to leave Okada riders to continue their operations. These Okada riders help the government during elections with votes. Our voting population in Lagos constitutes over 2.7 million because most of us vote here in Lagos. We are not all bad people.
“Many of our people are Okada riders in Lagos. If the government claims that robbers are rampant among Okada riders, then the government should sieve out the criminals. The government should provide replacement for our members affected by the ban.”