In what will come across as a really startling development, a middle-aged woman has died on the spot when she fell off a commercial motorcycle, popularly called okada, at Ikeja Along, yesterday.
The operator tried to avoid arrest as the ban on okada operation began.
Ikeja is one of the six local governments and nine Local Council Developments Area (LCDA) in the pilot phase of the clampdown.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had on May 18 signed an executive order prohibiting okada operation in 15 council areas of the state.
The affected councils are Ikeja, Eti-Osa, Lagos Island, Surulere, Apapa and Lagos Island local government areas, while the LCDAs on which okada operation had been banned are Onigbongbo, Ojodu, Ikoyi-Obalende, Iru-Victoria Island, and Lagos Island East. Others are; Itire-Ikate, Coker Aguda, Iganmu and Yaba.
The woman, whose identity was not known, according to an eye witness named Clement Inuwa, a commercial bus driver, fell as the okada rider tried to avoid the Taskforce, who had taken a position on both carriageways to arrest any defaulters of the governor’s order.
“The okada rider and the woman passenger were coming from Iyana-Ipaja and heading towards Oshodi very early in the morning when they ran into the enforcement team.
In the process of manoeuvring and avoiding arrest, the woman fell, hit her head on the median and died on the spot. The okada driver however escaped.
At Apapa, it was a difficult time for port users as many of them had to resort to trekking, while few rode bicycles to the Apapa Wharf and TinCan Ports, due to the commencement of the total ban on okada operation.
The Port access roads, such as Creek Road and others were clear of okada menace yesterday as the operators stayed away on the first day of the enforcement of the order.
Until yesterday, okada was solely depended upon by port users into and out of Apapa, as port activities have made the entire port city almost inaccessible.
It was gathered that the state government would be setting up an anti-okada squad and has recruited about 600 members for who it commenced an orientation exercise at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday. The orientation was organised by the state Ministry of Transportation.
Transportation Commissioner Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, on Tuesday, said the aim for the setting up of the squad is to ensure effective enforcement of the ban order.
Sanwo-Olu, while urging residents to stop patronising Okada riders on highways but embrace the First and Last Mile (FLM) buses, medium-capacity and high-capacity buses, as well as the modern ferries that it is providing on the waterways to ease commuting.
The governor insisted that Okada operations on the highways remained unsafe and would no longer be tolerated.
“Before the end of the year, we are also bringing the rail along these corridors with their terminals. We have provided jetties as well to provide alternatives.”
Commissioner of Police Mr Abiodun Alabi had said both the okada driver and passenger carried by the operator are liable and would be prosecuted if caught on any of the 15 councils piloting the total ban regime.