Oniru of Iruland, King Abdulwasiu Lawal Abisogun II has uncovered a ploy by commercial motorcyclists popularly known as Okada riders to attack the Lekki area of Lagos.
The caution was contained in a circular issued on Wednesday, titled, ‘Urgent security alert’, and signed by the Oniru Chieftancy Family Estate Office
The warning is coming hours after the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu banned Okada operations in Lekki and other areas in the state.
The ban was imposed by the Lagos state government after a sound engineer and married dad-of-two, David Imoh was lynched by Okada riders over an N100 balance.
In the circular issued, the monarch advised residents not to panic but cautioned Lekki residents to be security conscious.
“Intelligence report reaching us is that following the raid on Okada riders and seizure of their bikes in Lekki Phase 1, the riders believed the action was instigated by Lekki residents who are determined to take away their source of livelihood.
To this end, there are plans to invade inner streets to cause havoc anytime from now in Lekki.
In its proactive measures, His Royal Majesty — the Oniru of Iru land, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogtrolahan Lawal (Abisogun II) – has advised that all access points within the Estate be secured and all security guards should be on red alert.
This is an emergency measure, not panic. We advise all residents to be extremely cautious and please collaborate with security guards at the gates.
We had the same experience during the end SARS protest and activated the same precautionary measures being advised by our security providers.”
Earlier today, Abiodun Alabi, the Lagos police commissioner disclosed that most commercial motorcyclists are criminals as most of them have been caught with pistols.
Alabi while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily also said most of the riders are not licensed and only use the job to commit crimes.
In his words:
“There have been consultations with their executive members in various communities and what we have been able to discover is that most of them are not even licensed and before God and man, I will assure you and I want to be emphatic here, that most of them are criminals masquerading as Okada riders.
We have arrested so many of them with locally made pistols in the course of their operations and many of them have been charged to court. But we know that they are using Okada as a kind of disguise to perpetuate their crime in many communities.
And that’s the reason why we have been having a lot of dialogue, consultations and meetings with their union and in the course of doing that, I believe that the best way out is to get them off our roads. Most of them are masquerading as Okada riders but they are criminals.”
Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday, announced the ban on operations of commercial motorcyclists in six local government areas of the state.
The local government areas affected by the ban are Ikeja, Surulere, Eti Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island and Apapa.
“Over time people have been enforcing it but they have not been enforcing it in a holistic manner. We are going to change our tactics and strategy and we are going to win the whole war and ensure that the war is enforced better by not allowing anybody to ply these routes. Anybody arrested will be made to face the law,”
Alabi noted that the 2020 #EndSARS protests led to the lackadaisical attitude of police officers, saying they allowed the Okada riders back into the areas where they have been banned. He added:
“I believe what is going to be different is the officers will do the bold work to enforce the law and ensure that the Okada riders don’t ply the roads where they have been prohibited.
“I remember vividly that those Okadas plying those routes were not allowed previously but along the line after the #EndSARS saga, there was a kind of lackadaisical attitude on the part of the police officers in Lagos because they were not actually encouraged since they were at the centre of the crisis.
“That is the reason why they got back in and the rule was not enforced.”
Alabi said the police force has the capacity to enforce laws without turning them into a cash cow, adding that other security agents will also collaborate with the police to ensure that the law is enforced.
He said in the last three days, no fewer than 215 motorcycles have been impounded and 35 defaulters have been arrested in the Lekki-Ajah axis.
He also said there will be a mobile court where erring passengers and motorcyclists will be prosecuted immediately so as to avoid cell congestion.