The community of Otumara 11, Apapa road, Ojo-oniyun and its environs, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye has urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to consider the consequences of the ban on Okada and Marwa operations in some major roads on residents in the state especially the toll it would have on the operators.
According to Kalejaiye, many of these riders are artisans who left their trade out of frustration to take up Okada and Marwa businesses to feed their families while residents rely on them to manoeuvre the terrible Lagos traffic.
Considering the tensed economic and employment situations in the country coupled with the high cost of living in Lagos State, according to him, many of the operators would resort to illegality and other vices to survive.
He stressed further that “Governance is not about hastily making decisions. The government need to consider the implication of the ban on Okada and Marwa operators before effecting it. It is a matter of fact that Okada and Marwa created employment opportunities for many people including graduates and artisans whose trade are not yielding enough profits as they expected and many of them are better off with it. But what becomes of them after the ban?
What will they be doing when the government has forced them out of business? It is not enough for the government to place a ban on Okada and Marwa operations because of the bad eggs among them that perpetrate evil acts with it. They need to consider the good ones among them who are driven with the need to survive.”
While commending the Lagos State Government for the pilot phase of the school feeding programme which started on Monday in 33 public schools in Lagos Island, Kalejaiye appeals to Governor Sanwo-Olu to rescind his decision on the ban for the sake of the affected heads and the stress residents would face journeying through Lagos traffic.
“I want to commend Gov Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the “Snack for Thought” school feeding initiative which started on Monday. I want to appeal to him extend the gesture to public schools in Lagos Mainland. Also on the implication of the ban on commuters, transporters will take advantage of the ban to increase their fares while those that are accustomed with Okada as a means of transportation to avoid both the traffic and the endless wait will be stranded at various bus-stops.
I will suggest that the government come up with strategies to deal with the challenges that come with Okada and Marwa operations. They should come up with better alternatives with the intention of keeping them in business to avoid the potential negative consequences of the ban” Kalejaiye said.