The Arewa community in Lagos has backed the state government’s ban on commercial motorcycles better known as Okada, asking security agencies to impose stricter border checks as a way of curbing the influx of foreigners.
In a communique issued by the association at the end of its Extra-Ordinary General Meeting held in Lagos on Sunday, it said the move, which was taken last week, was not new.
“We resolved today unanimously that all our members must comply with the provisions of the laws of Lagos State. We are law-abiding and we will always continue to intimate on all our members to continue to be law-abiding and operate only within the ambits of the law,” the group said in a statement signed by its Secretary-General Alhaji Musa Saleh.
“We support all measures taken by the Lagos State Government in its efforts towards protecting the life and properties of all Lagosians.”
While condemning the activities of criminals posing as Okada riders, the Arewa community claimed that most of them are foreigners from Niger Republic, Chad, Cameroon, and other neighbouring nations.
“We are calling on the security agencies to identify and arrest all those criminal elements masquerading as Okada riders,” it said.
“We also tasking the Nigeria Immigration Service to step up its actions along the borderline in checking the influx of those foreign elements coming into the country without genuine intention.”
The group reiterated its resolve to support efforts by the Lagos State Government to safeguard lives and properties.
“We are calling on all well-meaning Arewa community members to comply with our common resolve and avoid the Local Governments of Apapa, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Etiosa, and Ikeja,” the group maintained.
“We will work with the Lagos State Government and the Association of Arewa Okada Riders towards the implementation of extant rules and documentation of all riders in all local governments of Lagos State.
“We must have adequate data on everyone. We call on the Lagos State Government to be vigilant and take proper punitive measures on bad eggs within the security agencies.”
The Lagos State Government has reiterated its commitment to clearing out commercial motorcycles, popularly known as okada, from the city’s highways.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said commercial tricycles (keke), are also not excluded from the state’s drive to ensure maximum sanity on its highways.
“The law that bans okada also bans keke,” Mr Omotoso said. “Keke should not be found on highways, should not be found on bridges, should not be found on major roads in Lagos.”
The Lagos State Commissioner Of Police, Abiodun Alabi, has stated that many motorcycle operators are criminals in disguise who perpetrate nefarious acts across the state.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced a ban on motorcycles, popularly known as Okadas, in six local government areas on Wednesday after what he described as “a critical review” on the “menace that has not abated.”
Speaking on Channels Television’s flagship show Sunrise Daily on Thursday, commissioner Alabi disclosed that many of the riders were unlicensed after consultations with executive bodies within the state.
“I want to be emphatic here, most of them are criminals masquerading as okada riders,” Abiodun said
“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.”
The commissioner also lamented the level of crime committed with the aid of motorcycles in communities across the nation’s economic hub.
“They use these okadas to commit a lot of crimes in so many communities; that is why we have been having a lot of dialogue and consultations with their unions,” he said.
“The best way out is to get them off our roads because a lot of them are masquerading as okada riders but are criminals.”
Commissioner Alabi was however not reluctant to admit that the ban had some drawbacks.
“We know that banning the Okada riders can actually increase the crime rate. And we are not unmindful of that and we are already putting in place a lot of strategies to contend with it,” he said.
“We know that it will send a lot of them to unemployment. We are aware of that and are preparing for it.”
Lagos State Police Commissioner, Abiodun Alabi, on Thursday clarified that residents who operate motorcycles for courier services or other private dealings will not be affected the latest okada ban.
The state government had announced restrictions on motorcycles, popularly known as okada, from operating in six local government areas of the state.
“It does not affect couriers, but the couriers will not carry passengers,” Alabi said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily. “We will have to make sure they are couriers and not pretending to be one.
An activist, Akor Janet, has charged Lagos residents to take concrete actions towards ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment.
According to the 28-year-old, who is a convener of the Clean Community Campaign (CCC), population growth has continued to outstrip infrastructure supply, leading to poor access to clean water and sanitary education.
“The population of Lagos is growing ten times faster than that of New York and Los Angeles,” she said, according to a statement. “Nigeria’s most densely populated city has almost 25 million people and is adding about 600,000 every year.
“As with many cities in developing countries, many residents lack an adequate water supply and sanitation: both fundamental human rights essential for the health of all people.
“Poor access to improved water and sanitation in Nigeria remains a major contributing factor to high morbidity and mortality rates among children under five.”
She noted that the use of contaminated drinking water and poor sanitary conditions result in increased vulnerability to water-borne diseases, including diarrhea which leads to the deaths of more than 70,000 children under five annually.
“Nigeria is already experiencing the effects of climate change,” Akor said. “There are variable and extreme weather events: increased temperatures, variable precipitation, floods, droughts, desertification, land degradation, and loss of biodiversity.
“These changing weather patterns are already disrupting livelihoods, leading to even deeper impoverishment and conflicts over the dwindling resources.”
“All the first and major responders are still collaborating to mop up the incident scene,” the statement said.
The three-storey building, located on 32, Ibadan Street, Ebute-Meta, reportedly collapsed on Sunday evening with rescue operations quickly set in motion.
In a statement on Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari condoled with the victims and saluted the courage and determination of the first responders.
He also regretted the frequency of building collapses in the country and urged relevant authorities to do more to halt further reoccurrences.
“President Buhari wishes those injured a speedy recovery and prays for divine assistance in the ongoing search and rescue operations,” the statement signed by presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina said.
The Lagos State Government on Thursday said it will divert traffic flow on the Public Works Road at Ikeja for Rail Level Crossing asphalt laying by 9.00pm on Thursday till 6.00am on Friday.
In a statement released by the Ministry of Transportation, the Commissioner, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde disclosed that the asphalting was necessary to ease traffic flow across the rail track.
According to the diversion plan, Motorists from GRA are advised to make use of Oba Akinjobi Way to link Airport Under Bridge to access Agege Motor Road, while Motorists from Oshodi coming into the GRA, Ikeja will be diverted to the Airport Bridge or Adegbola Level Crossing for their desired destinations.
Road users are therefore advised to comply with the Traffic directions provided by the Traffic Enforcement Personnel on ground as well as road signals to minimize inconveniences during the rehabilitation works.
“Lagos State Government is hereby appealing to residents of the State, especially motorists that ply the mentioned corridor to make use of the alternatives routes provided to ease traffic flow, as the palliative works is aimed at achieving a seamless Multi-modal Transport System that is being envisaged for a greater Lagos,” the statement added.
The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority says one of its officials has been knocked down and run over by a “traffic law offender.”
The official is said to have died from his injuries.
“The driver of a green Toyota Sienna vehicle, with Reg. number, FST 901 AR, knocked down and run over a LASTMA official, Jamiu O. Issa, who was later confirmed dead, this early morning on the 19th of April, 2022,” a statement signed on Wednesday by LASTMA spokesperson Filade Olumide, said.
“The Late Issa was said to have approached and accosted the Sienna vehicle driver who was driving against the direction of flow of traffic (One-way) facing oncoming vehicles from Chevron towards the Conservation Toll Plaza.
“It was reported that Issa, the LASTMA patrol team leader in Ajah, who accosted the driver by standing inside the driver opened door was knocked down and run over by the traffic law offender, who had pretended to be alighting from the vehicle but changed his action and tried to escape by reversing the vehicle, knocking down Issa with the opened door while the front tyre also ran over the officer, this action fatally injured Issa in the process.
“Issa’s colleague at the scene of the event quickly put a call through to the zonal head while some good Samaritans/eye witnesses pursued the escaping Sienna driver to the Chevron Waterfront area where he was eventually apprehended and taken first to Ilasan Police Station, and eventually to Ajiwe Police Station, under which jurisdiction the event happened for proper investigation.
“Also, according to other eye witnesses’ accounts, the Sienna driver also knocked down another person while trying to escape from the scene before the driver was apprehended.
“At the same time that the above scenario was going on, the fatally injured Issa was rushed to the Lagos Island General Hospital where it was confirmed that he was brought in dead (BID). His remains have been deposited at the morgue of same hospital.”
LASTMA said its General Manager, Bolaji Oreagba, was grieved by the incident.
“He has also said that in-spite of several appeals and warnings to the public to desist from assaulting and injuring government officials, some unscrupulous elements in the society who have refused all entreaties would be made to face the full wrath of the law,” the statement added.
“Oreagba also noted that, this occurrence would not discourage the officers of the agency from continuing to carry out their duties and responsibilities as enshrined in the law that set up the agency.
“He therefore, appealed to the general public to abide by the Laws governing the State in order not to run foul of the law and its attendant consequences.”
“We also use this medium to remind the general public that any person who engages in any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child, commits an offence and is liable to custodial sentence of fourteen (14) years,” the government said.
“This includes ‘producing, distributing, receiving, or possessing an image of child pornography'”.
A video showing the mother of an alleged victim calling for help went viral on Monday, sparking controversy and debate.
She claimed that Chrisland had sought to cover up the matter.
In the video shared by one Ubi Franklin, she further claimed that Chrisland suspended her daughter once the school found out she was aware of the gravity of the alleged abuse.
Chrisland is yet to officially respond to the allegations.
In an indefinite suspension letter sighted by Channels Television and signed by Chrisland’s Head Teacher, G.I. Azike, the school said the alleged victim “with a few of her counterparts willfully participated in a game they called ‘Truth or Dare’, a game which led her and a few other co-learners to carry out immoral act after the lights out instruction was given.”
The school said all efforts to inform her parent about the incident “has proved to be futile.”
The Lagos State Government has launched a new taxi scheme with 1,000 brand-new GAC-branded cars.
The scheme, codenamed ‘Lag Ride’, was launched at a ceremony held at the State House in Alausa on Wednesday.
According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Lagos Government, Gboyega Akosile, the ride-hailing taxi initiative, which is being operated on a lease-to-own basis, is a component of the state government’s multimodal transportation blueprint being executed under the Traffic Management and Transportation pillar of the THEMES agenda of the Sanwo-Olu administration.
The initiative is a partnership between Lagos State-owned IBILE Holding Limited and CIG Motors Company Limited, with the objective to provide clean and reliable means of taxis movement across the metropolis at affordable cost, using brand-new vehicles.
Operators are required to pay about N1.9 million down payment, of which the sum covers the 20 per cent equity of cost of vehicle, registration and insurance. Each car being used in the scheme comes with technology-enabled security features that monitor every journey undertaken.
Sanwo-Olu, while launching the scheme, said the state had moved another step forward in its drive to develop an efficient transportation model in tune with modernity and comfort.
The governor said the aim was not to run existing hailing ride operators out of the business, but to offer a safer alternative and clear the roads of rickety cars being used for taxi business.
The scheme, according to him, will provide opportunities to the operators to become owners of the vehicles within a three to four year period.
“The need to provide better, dignifying and more rewarding means of transportation and livelihood for unemployed and underemployed population gave birth to the new ‘Lagos State Taxi Scheme’, which will be operated on a lease-to-own basis. Under this arrangement, a beneficiary will be provided a brand-new car which will become the driver’s property after completion of the payment of the vehicle’s subsidised cost.
“This taxi scheme will complement the various bus services which are making significant impact in the lives of our people; the water transport service, which is recording unprecedented patronage, as well as the Blue and Red Line Rail services which are on course to commence commercial operations between the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2023,” Sanwo-Olu said.
To improve riders’ and passengers’ security, Sanwo-Olu said a full security gadget, including a 360 dashboard camera that will give 24-hour audio-visual feeds to the control centre, had been pre-installed on each car deployed for the scheme.
He added that each car came with a physical panic button that could be used by anyone on board in case of assault or emergency. The panic button, the Governor said, is also on the mobile application and is connected to the Control and Command Centre.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the automobile assembly plant being set up in Lagos – another component of the partnership between CIG Motors’ and the State Government – stood at 60 per cent completion, with the launch of its operations expected in September.
“What we are witnessing today is that Lagos is moving away from the era of rickety ‘Kabu Kabu‘ to a brand-new, comfortable and safe transport system. The multiplier effect of this singular initiative on job creation, youth employment and economic growth and development in the State cannot be overstated,” he said.
Commissioners for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde, described the scheme as “another milestone achievement” by the State Government, noting that the initiative had joined an array of other innovative solutions initiated in the transport sector, which were targeted at redefining public transportation.
To make the rides affordable, the Commissioner said the technology on which the scheme is operated had made ride-sharing possible for passengers, who would agree to share rides and share transit costs.
Chairman of CIG Motors in Nigeria, Mrs Diana Chang, said the roadmap for the urbanisation of the transportation system in Lagos started in November 2019 when the Governor and members of his cabinet visited the Republic of China for bilateral partnership. The launch, she said, is the glorious end of the partnership sealed with Chinese investors.
“We are using this partnership to promote a Greater Lagos where opportunities abound for citizens of the state, while creating a win-win model for all stakeholders,” she said.
Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director of IBILE Holding, Mr. Abiodun Amokomowo, said over 5,700 drivers had downloaded the driver’s mobile apps as at last Tuesday, out of which 1,786 drivers submitted applications.
Amokomowo added that registration and enrolment fees have been accepted from 359 drivers, while others are awaiting screening.
As part of the process, each operator is expected to undergo full verification which will include their Lagos State Drivers’ Institute (LASDRI) ID cards, medical history, verification of NIN and Lagos resident registration numbers and other background checks to ensure the safety of passengers.
“The launch of the taxi scheme was received with a warm embrace by ride hailing drivers, who described the initiative as a “unique, better alternative”, the IBILE Holding boss added.
Sam Mfuk, who is the first successful driver to get on board of the scheme, said: “When we first heard about Lagos Ride, we were sceptical. But, when we attended the stakeholders’ meetings, we changed our minds. Lagos Ride has become the answer to our prayers in ride hailing sector”.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare; Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Demola Seriki; Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, public office holders at federal and state levels on Sunday converged in Lagos to honour the chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, with a novelty match in celebration of his 70th birthday.
The novelty match between ex-Super Eagles players and Team Lagos, which took place at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Onikan, Lagos was attended by former and present members of the National Assembly, Lagos State Executive Council, Lagos State House of Assembly, and local government chairmen, as well as members of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC), Lagos State APC executive members, among others.
The match, which was attended by Tinubu, who kicked off the game, is part of the programmes organised by the Tinubu Support Group, in conjunction with the Lagos State Government, to celebrate the former Lagos State governor’s 70th birthday, which comes up on Tuesday, March 29.
Former Super Eagles Striker, Victor Agali scored two goals for the ex-international team led by Austin Jay Jay Okocha to defeat the Team Lagos, which is made up of former players of Stationery Stores and other clubs in Lagos State.
Agali scored the first goal 10 minutes into the second half from a brilliant pass from Julius Aghahowa. Agali then netted the second goal 12 minutes later after heading a cross from Austin Okocha who displayed brilliant dribbling skills during the match.
The ex-internationals team also included Nwankwo Kanu, Peter Rufai, Ike Shorunmu, Taribo West, Garba Lawal, Mutiu Adepoju, Victor Ikpeba, and Abiodun Obafemi, among others.
Team Lagos was captained by the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Mudashiri Obasa. Other members were Waidi Akanni, Godwin Okpara, Friday Ekpo, Sanni Doherty, Akeem Ogunlade, Wasiu Ipaye, Taiwo Oloyede, Yusuf Ayinla, and Alhaji Gafar, among others.
Prior to the novelty match between the ex-international and Team Lagos, there was a football match between Team Abuja comprising members of the National Assembly and Team B, made of up members of the Lagos State Executive Council, House of Assembly, and council chairmen.
The Team Manager for Team Abuja was a member of the House of Representatives, representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, Hon. James Faleke, while Team Lagos was led by the Chief of Staff to Lagos State Governor, Mr. Tayo Ayinde.