Babatunde Fashola backs Sanwo-Olu on okada ban



The Minister of Works and Housing and former governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has advised Lagos residents to support the state government’s renewed enforcement of the restriction on motorcycles in some local government areas in the state.

He noted that while the discomfort created by the enforcement could not be dismissed, the security implication of not enforcing the law was a major threat to peace.

Fashola noted that motorcycles could not be the preferred choice of transportation in a centre of excellence like Lagos.

He was the governor of the state when the Lagos Road Traffic Law came into effect in 2012.

The Lagos State Government, under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had on February 1 commenced the enforcement of the restriction order.

Speaking as the guest speaker at the fourth annual public lecture/symposium organised by the United Action for Change in Lagos on Thursday, Fashola noted that motorcycles had been identified as the favourite means of escape by criminals.

But in his lecture titled, ‘Insecurity: Taking action against organised crime,’ Fashola said “insecurity is a global problem that requires the input of citizens to eradicate.”

He identified peaceful co-existence, intelligence gathering and curbing the menace of drug abuse as some of the solutions.

Meanwhile, speaking on the ban on okada in Lagos State, Fashola said there was need to restore order in public transportation.

The minister said, “So, for those concerned about insecurity in Lagos State, get behind your governor on the position that he has taken. I do not dismiss the concerns that have been raised on the other side, but a price must be paid. It’s a trade-off between our inconvenience and our existence.

“I know that work is going on with the trains, I know that ferries are being installed and they would take some time but in our now interest, we should bear with the government.

“The question to ask is that as the centre of excellence, are motorcycles elevated and acceptable standard of transportation?

“As a centre of excellence, motorcycles cannot be our preferred choice of transportation.

“My recommendation is that we should go back to the taxis and they have a very strong union. I’m sure government is already thinking about it, and it can use its financial balance sheets to guarantee them loans to acquire new taxis.

“No government is out to inflict pain on its people, but in the process of governance, tough calls have to be made because there are competing concerns here and there. It is also important to know that government was not acting on its own, but in response to our calls for more efficient traffic for safety, law and order.”

Earlier, Banire, who is the immediate past Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, said the governing philosophy of the movement was the addition of value to society without necessarily holding any office or expecting any reward.

UAC is a movement convened by Banire, a former National Legal Adviser of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Punch Newspaper

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