More than 2000 seized motorcycle taxis, known as okada, have been destroyed in the biggest city of Nigeria, Lagos, after a ban on these vehicles.
This decision have been implemented after the ban on the vehicles that came into effect on June 1 because of the killing of a man by suspected riders in May, which raised outrage, forcing officials to act.
Sunday David, aged 38, is a sound engineer, was killed in the upscale Lekki neighbourhood after a dispute over fares.
Sunday’s wife, Grace Bolu, was broken and left questioning how she would support her two children when the primary breadwinner of her family was no more.
“I am a civil servant. My husband does everything for the family. How will I manage it? How is my salary going to pay school fees and pay rent?”
After the incident, the authorities banned the vehicles, and this ban has been welcomed with mixed reactions from people residing in Lagos, with some stating the riders drive rashly while others commenting that okada riding provides essential work for young people and is also a convenient mode of transport.
Since the ban has been executed, various parts of the city that are typically buzzing with okada riders have now seemed unusually quiet, as per the sources.
It applies to over six local government regions- Ikeja, Eti-Osa, Lagos Island, Surulere, Lagos Mainland and Apapa have come into force on June 1.
Earlier in January 2020, the government banned the operation of motorcyclists in almost 15 local council areas around Lagos, but that stopped being executed.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who declared the ban last month, said the prohibition would deprive the okada threat – they are known for their speed and risk-taking as they wind through the city’s traffic jams.
Between the year of 2016 and 2019, okadas were liable for 10,000 accidents and more than 600 deaths recorded in hospitals across Lagos state, as per the government figures.