Residents of Ajao Estate in Oshodi Isolo Local Government Area, on Thursday, made a startling request to the Lagos State Government. They want the recent ban of the operations of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, extended to their area to forestall what they described as “security breach” in the neigbourhood.
The concerned residents under the aegis of Ajao Estate Central Community Development Association staged a peaceful protest to the Secretariat in Alausa, appealing to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to proscribe Okada operations in their community.
The protesters said they could no longer sleep with their two eyes closed as a result of fear and insecurity arising from uncontrolled operations of commercial motorcycles.
Chairman of the community association, Chief Martins Adegboyega, who led the protest, described the presence of Okada in the community as “unwarranted invasion”, stressing that members of the Estate could no longer feel safe with the continuous operations of Okada in the community.
Adegboyega said the Estate residents unanimously agreed on the move and wanted Lagos Government to ban Okada operations in their neighbourhood.
The petition sent to the Governor, signed by the residents’ legal adviser, Chief Leo Ikeagwu, reads: “Our Estate has been taken over by criminals in the guise of Okada riders. Their activities had been banned in the Estate since 2015 after they engaged the police in a fight. These criminal elements are back in our community in full force.
“We have watched helplessly the influx of Okada riders, who, to our dismay, now block the entrance into Ajao Estate from Ejigbo, causing heavy traffic jam and security breaches. Bag snatching is now on the increase and pedestrians are now in fear.
“It is worthy to note that an eight-year-old boy was recently kidnapped by some criminal elements who used Okada to operate. But, for the quick intervention of some vigilant security guards, who blocked the entrance gate; it would have been different story entirely.
“All residents of Ajao Estate can no longer sleep with their eyes closed as a result of fear. Those who return from their various work places at night are no longer safe. We humbly request an immediate action that will be put in place to continuously check this influx of Okada riders, so that we can be at peace once again.
“The residents, in a meeting with the Local Government chairman and our House of Representatives member, agreed that Okada riders should not be allowed into Ajao Estate again to curb further criminal activities.
“We want to state that shuttle buses and Keke NAPEP are in place to convey passengers from the Airport Road to Ejigbo Link Bridge to and fro. Okada riders have no business whatsoever in Ajao Estate.”