The Lagos Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal, has given commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as okada, in the state three days to register with any of the two relevant associations or risk arrest.
Edgal gave the directive on Saturday during an emergency meeting with the leadership the commercial motorcycle operators as part of measures to ensure that they are well coordinated to promote security.
According to him, the two recognised associations are National Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association (NNAMORAL) and Motorcycle Operators Association of Lagos State (MOALS).
The police boss said that the registration was necessary for proper identification, warning that commercial motorcycle operators not registered with either of the unions by Tuesday would be arrested for illegal operation, NAN said.
“If you want to be a commercial motorcycle operator in Lagos State, you must belong to either NNAMORAL or MOALS.
“All commercial motorcycle operators are given three days to get registered; anyone found wanting will be arrested.
“The operators must wear their reflective vests designed by the unions with their names and numbers.
“Members of the public are advised not to patronise any okada rider (commercial motorcyclist) without the vest as his or her safety cannot be guaranteed,” he said.
He said that the police would not relent in enforcing Lagos traffic laws.
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“There are roads okada riders must not ply. They must carry one person at a time.
“The vests are numbered. There are emergency numbers to call in case a passenger has a problem with any commercial motorcycle operator.
“We all want Lagos to be a mega city but this cannot be achieved when we have commercial motorcycle operators without helmets, taking one way and BRT lanes.
“In enforcing traffic laws, community policing is the way out as I don’t intend to enforce these laws without you.”
Edgal directed that the two motorcycle transport unions should have a database for commercial motorcycle operators in the state.
He said that increasing rate of accidents involving commercial motorcyclists made it necessary for their operations to be strictly monitored.
“When you go to the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, and see cases, you will see that there is the need to monitor their (commercial motorcyclists‘) operations,” he said.
Responding, the Chairman of MOALS, Mr Pekis Tijani, said that the union leaders would fully implement the directive.
Tijani, who commended the police boss for the meeting, assured him that motorcycle operation in Lagos would take a new shape.