Gov. Ambode, we’ve had enough of danfo, okada, by Saka Arowojobe
All over the Nigerian federation, Lagos state has always towered above all other states in terms of its contribution to the security of life and property. As a public analyst, one has always observed with tremendous admiration the ease with which the successive administrations in the state have been largely responsible for equipping the security agencies, especially the Police.
With the coming on board of the present administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, the level of support was taken a notch higher with all the military and para military agencies. The administration not only took the battle to rid Lagos of criminals directly to them, Ambode also ensured that Lagos enacted a law to prescribe death penalty for kidnappers.
His administration has also been very resolute in implementing the provisions of the 2012 Lagos State Traffic Law, which restricts the operation of commercial motorbikes to the inner roads. As recalcitrant as the motorcycle operators are, the security agencies are always curtailing the excesses of the motorcycle operators.
The okadas are daily been deployed to commit heinous crimes such as robbing bank customers, motorists and even kidnapping passengers who board such motorcycles. Many innocent people have also lost limbs or become maimed for life by reckless okadas riders who not only disobey traffic rules but also ride against traffic. One would even suggest that the only solution to the menace of okadas in Lagos is an outright ban.
With the status of Lagos as an emerging Africa model city, the recent pronouncement of Ambode that the yellow danfo buses would be replaced by high capacity buses is a welcome development. For so long, the drivers of the yellow buses have become a thorn in the flesh of law abiding motorists in the state.
They represent the symbol of lawlessness on Lagos roads, stopping at undesignated bus stops and even driving against traffic with reckless abandon. Several times, the yellow buses have been used by “one chance robbers” who dispossess innocent people of their valuables.
Even in distant locations, 12 or 14 seater buses have no place anymore. They have all been replaced by high capacity buses. So, the pertinent question we should ask ourselves is: “Why should Lagos be an exception?” With the reduced availability of road networks across the state due to paucity of funds, the only solution would be deployment of high capacity buses instead of small ones that presently dot the highways of Lagos.
My appeal to Governor Ambode is that he should remain focused and refused to be distracted by a few people in his quest to end the activities of criminals, especially kidnappers, by outrightly banning the operation of okada and phasing out the operations of yellow buses. The operators of the modes of transport have not only constituted themselves into security risks, but have also become accessories after crimes. We have had enough of their excesses in Lagos State.
. Arowojobe writes from Oshodi, Lagos State.