Northern Group Condemns Okada Ban, Says Destruction Of Bikes Targeted At Northerners


Coalition of Northern Groups have condemned the ban and destruction of commercial motorcycles also known as Okada, as directed by the Lagos State Government.

The group claims the action targets northern operators. Therefore was “completely unacceptable”.

Read Also: Sanwo-Olu Outlaws Okada Riders In Selected Areas To Curb Criminalities

In a statement issued on Monday, June 6, by its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, the coalition stated that the decision to ban okadas was “rash, irrational, insensitive and wicked.

It further posited that the Lagos State Government would in just 72 hours of announcing the ban, seize and subject 7,548 okada, mostly owned and operated by northerners to the crusher.

Read Also: Motorcycle Riders Express Grievances Over Okada Ban

It can be recalled that the ban on Okada was in six local government areas in Lagos; and started on June 1st, 2022.

Shortly after the announcement, more than 2,000 confiscated motorcycles have been crushed to enforce the ban.

The decision to ban the motorcycles comes following the lynching of a man; killed by riders last month, which sparked outrage.

Read Also: #JusticeForDave: Motorcyclists Beat, Burn Sound Engineer To Death In Lekki Phase 1 Over N100 (Graphic Videos)

Sunday David, a 38-year-old sound engineer, was killed in the upmarket Lekki neighbourhood; after a disagreement over N100 fares.
His death sparked outrage and forced authorities to act.

Reacting to the ban, CNG in its statement expressed:

We note that of recent, State governments in the South have resorted to imposing and enforcing controversial, unfriendly and damaging legislation. A rule that effectively curtails the right to freedom of movement of the northern people living in their midst.

More disturbing is that like in the current case of Lagos, the enforcers of these discriminatory laws almost all the time fail to draw the decent distinction between the northerner as citizen, or commercial motorcycling as an occupation, from criminality.

Read Also: Okada Ban: Lagos Govt Seizes 140 Motorcycles, Arrests 16 Passengers, Riders

It further states:

To the makers of these laws and their formal and informal enforcers, the effect matters little; some Okada riders commit certain breaches does not make all motorcyclists criminals.

In fact, they are enforcing the laws without taking into consideration that the vast majority of northerners in Lagos – including those who are Okada operators – are peaceful everyday people. All with the same needs, anxieties and hopes as the rest of Nigerians.

Suleiman posited that the action was not only a catalyst for further conflict; but also a clear contradiction of sections of the Nigerian Constitution.

He stated that the sections declare null and void any law in any part of the country; that conflicts with any of its provisions. Especially on the right of every citizen to live and flourish in any part of the country, without discrimination or harassment.

Suleiman added:

This brutal encroachment by the Lagos State government on the right of northerners to freedom of movement, freedom of association and other fundamental human right safeguards, is eroding the consciousness that for decades, different tribes in Nigeria have been accommodated and tolerated in the North, without their hosts enacting discriminatory laws specifically to intimidate, harass and endanger them, their families, their properties or their trades.

No matter through which lenses we look, therefore, we only see in this fast-phased agenda a manifestation of an ignoble system; one that tends to deploy a warped application of the law. Solely to endanger northerners. Mostly those living and doing legitimate businesses in Lagos which is unacceptable.

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