A 2019 governorship candidate in Lagos State, Babatunde Gbadamosi, has described the idea that commercial motorcycles and tricycles have no place in a megacity as strange.
Gbadamosi, who contested on the platform of Action Democratic Party, said on Tuesday that the action by the Lagos State Government banning the operations of Okada and Keke riders in six local governments and nine local council development areas of the state was poorly thought out.
The PUNCH reported that the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, said the proscription took effect from February 1, ordering the riders not to ply 10 major highways as well as 40 bridges and flyovers across the state.
In a thread on his verified Twitter handle, Gbadamosi wrote, “The crowds at bus stops and the sad images of thousands of Lagos commuters trekking forlornly to their destinations are heart-breaking testimonials to the poor quality of thought that went into this decision.
“I really don’t know where the APC got this strange idea that commercial motorcycles and tricycles have no place in a “mega-city”.
“As a matter of fact, Guangzhou city, in China, a metropolis roughly the size of Lagos City, though much better developed, has a large population of well-regulated commercial motorcyclists. So do Manila, Jakarta and Bangkok.”
Gbadamosi, who agreed that “something needed to be done about the clear and present danger that many Okada and Keke operators had come to constitute to the lives and limbs of Lagosians”, said the current hardship faced by commuters in the state can be assuaged with “an immediate review of the ban to immediately exclude the ride-hailing services”.
He, however, lamented the state of Lagos roads, urging the incumbent to speed up projects before the rainy season to forestall another hardship on residents.
He also said that significant passenger traffic could be shifted from road transportation to the waterways but stressed that “it is clear that more jetties are needed and a lot of dredging needs to be done” for the waterways to be a viable option.
The governorship candidate warned the government to reconsider the ban because of a looming spike in crime, resulting from the desperation of millions of newly unemployed able-bodied men and women.