Two weeks after the enforcement of the restriction of motorcycles and tricycles on major highways and bridges in Lagos, many Lagosians have gone past the hurdle despite its effect on their movement.
PREMIUM TIMES monitored the activities in Lagos on the first day of the enforcement, and reported how several commuters were stranded at bus-stops as the police and other enforcement agencies checked for compliance.
The Lagos State Government on January 27 announced the restriction of motorcycles and tricycles across 15 local governments, highways and bridges across the state.
The full enforcement of the restriction began on February 1.
Commercial buses Cash in on Okada ban
Lagosians did not only suffer the consequences of the okada and keke restriction by trekking and spending long hours at the bus-stops, their finances also suffered as a result.
Bus drivers and conductors increased fares, seeing that Lagosians had no alternative than the insufficient commercial bus transport system.
In some areas, bus fares doubled with some routes demanding N100 instead of N50.
“Although many people think that N50, N100 that bus conductors added on transportation fare is nothing, some of us will know the effect by month end,” said a commuter, identified as Raji Abidemi.
“Imagine me as a salary earner, having to add between N100 to N150 to my transport fare daily means I’m incurring an extra N500 to N750 every week. This is minus days when bus conductors inflate prices due to traffic and other contingencies, they are only making life unbearable for most of us,” he said.
Life continues, amidst the effect of Okada ban
The restriction of motorcycles and tricycles is a topic many Lagosians no longer want to discuss; “That’s already a bygone issue” is the response many Lagosians gave at the mention of the issue.
Ridwan Lawal, a commuter at Ojota Bus-Stop told PREMIUM TIMES that Nigerians are known to always develop thick skins to situations, regardless of how bad the effect is.
“Nigerians are known to be resilient, even in bad situations, the government also knows this which is why they keep passing laws that are anti-people. People will always adapt and move,” he said.
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Another commuter who declined to give his name said there are many issues going on in Nigeria, which makes it difficult for people to be fixated on one particular issue.
“Moreover, Lagos State is not only the state in Nigeria, things are happening everywhere. People only need days to adjust and life continues,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES observed that the tension at bus-stops has reduced as normalcy seems to have returned to the metropolis.
While many people express disdain at the mention of how the ban has affected them, others treated it with total disregard.
Olagoke Salami, another commuter, said, “You can’t expect people to still be on that. Life goes on, this is Lagos where few people shout for days and then they begin to embrace the reality.”
Mr Salami said although the ban has affected some people’s movements and adversely affected some people’s income, Lagosians have always been known to be rugged amidst difficulties.