by Sodiq Oyeleke
A non-governmental organisation, Muslim Students’ Society, Lagos State Area Unit, has advised the Lagos State Government to have a rethink on its new law banning okada in some areas of the state.
The President of the Group, Alhaji Qasim Badrudeen, gave the advice at a press conference on the State of the Nation on Saturday in Lagos.
Badrudeen, who commended the government on its traffic laws, argued that banning okada in certain areas of the state might make movement uncomfortable for the residents, especially those who have no cars.
He said, “The government should have a rethink on banning okada in certain areas in Lagos. It will make movement to those areas difficult and stressful. Take for instance; one will hardly go to areas like Victoria Island without making use of okada for conveniences.
“We understand that the law is for the benefit of everyone, but it is advisable that the government stays at a middle course to regulate and provide conveniences for the people. Also, we are all lamenting that there are lots of people who are unemployed, banning okada riders will make some people unemployed. There are graduates among the okada riders.”
The president, while appealing to okada operators and residents to abide by the laws, asked the law enforcement agencies to make proper use of the law.
He said, “We commend the Lagos State Government for the introduction of the new traffic law which is meant to restore sanity on our roads and prevent avoidable loss of lives. In this light, we urge all residents in the state to abide by the new law while using the roads.
“However, we equally want to advise the law enforcement agencies-Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, Police, Vehicle Inspection Officers and others-not to take advantage of the law to exploit Lagosians as doing so will amount to rubbishing the good intention of the state government in promulgating the law.”
Badrudeen also advised the federal and state governments on proactive measures to mitigate the effects of flooding in the future.
“We advise governments at all levels to further encourage massive farming in the dry season. Also, more funds should be gulped into the agriculture sector to avoid possible food crisis next year following the washing away of farmlands,” he said.
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