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Confusion As Okada Operators Clash With Police in Lagos



There was confusion in Iyana-Ipaja axis of Alimosho Local Government in Lagos on Wednesday when commercial motorcycle operators popular called Okada riders clashed with officers of Nigeria Police attached to Lagos Taskforce on enforcement over the ban of their operations in some parts of the state.

The clash occurred barely 24 hours after the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, vowed to intensify enforcement on ban of operations of Okada riders and tricycle operators also known as Keke Napep on specified roads and local governments of the state.

Our Correspondent gathered that the protest degenerated into a riot with properties worth huge sums of money destroyed.

The protesters torched buses and innocent passers-by were harassed and injured by the okada riders as well as miscreants who took advantage of ensuing chaos.

Witnesses had explained that the policemen and task force members had come to arrest commercial motorcycles and tricycles who had flouted the ban, and that this had resulted in a flare of tempers among the riders, resulting in the mayhem that had caused obstruction to all activities along that corridor for several hours.

Eye witness accounts claimed that guns and tear gas canisters were shot to disperse the protesters who scampered for safety, thereby sustaining injuries in the process.

According to a resident of Iyana-Ipaja who decided to remain anonymous, “This is my area. I got several calls while on the way to my office about this riot. Even my staff, who was sent on errand came back with swollen eyes. We can only plead to the government to help us so that peace will reign”.

Another resident lamented the happenings and called on government to call the police to order saying, “I got several calls from Aboru- Alabede, Pipeline, Shoderu and Bakare areas that police are raiding okada riders there and firing teargas. Even in the inner streets, residents had to run for cover. I spoke to my CDA chairman and he also confirmed the same thing to me.

“This is not what Sanwo-Olu asked the police to do. These roads are not part of those restricted by the ban so why are the police harassing people going about their lawful businesses?’’