Okada Ban: Police Arrest Fashina, 3 Others Over Protest


The Chairman of the Joint Action Forum (JAF), Dr. Dipo Fashina, General Secretary, Mr. Biodun Aremu and members of the body, Hassan Taiwo and Segun Oladunni, were arrested by the Nigerian police for embarking on a peaceful protest in Lagos on Wednesday.

The General Secretary of Joint Action Front, JAF, Comrade Abiodun Aremu, had earlier described the Lagos Traffic Law that restricted operations of okada riders on major highways as unjust. He said riders depend on the roads for their means of livelihood.

He also accused the Lagos State Government of insincerity, saying that in 2011 when Governor Babatunde Fashola was seeking re-election, he identified with okada riders and promised not to ban their operations in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the unionists, who were arrested in front of the Nigeria Labour Congress office, protested the ban of commercial motorcycle operators, popularly known as Okada riders by the Lagos State Government
Addressing some Lagos residents at Ikorodu Road, Fashina described the new traffic law as a “violation of human rights of okada riders.

“The law states that no person shall ride, drive or propel a cart, wheel barrow, motor or tricycle on any of the routes specified in schedule 11 of the law,” he said.

The JAF chairman said that the protest was spurred by a part of the law which listed 475 inner roads that should not be used by okada riders.

Fashina said it was regrettable that the laws applied only on okada riders and not tricycle operators.
He commended some parts of the law which banned okada riders from operating on highways, adding that the union only frowned at the parts that abused their human rights.

The chairman advised government to look at the issues and make laws to improve the social well-being of the people.

The Lagos State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Ngozi Braide, confirmed that the police dispersed some people who were protesting but could not confirm any arrest. [PMN]