With the insecurity issues in Nigeria at the moment, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos Command, Hakeem Odumosu, has come out to announce that the Indigenous People of Biafra have a plan to attack some ‘easy targets’ in Lagos.
He has also revealed that Governor Sanwo-Olu had said that the state government will fully enforce the laws restricting commercial motorcycles in Lagos (Okada) fully.
Odumosu, who released a paper on ‘Appraisal of Security Situation in Lagos State’, at a security meeting which took place and was organized in and by Lagos State and attended by Sanwo-Olu, top security officials and traditional rulers in Lagos, on Monday, said the threat by IPOB and other Yoruba separatist groups and their suspicious agenda has been noticed by the police intelligence for a while now.
He further explained that motorcycles (Okada) are still being used for transport and are also a part of the security challenges we are facing.
He explained that certain factors inspired the government’s decision to approve the use of motorcycles as a means of transportation in Lagos one of which was their desire to expand the land transportation system and also provide job opportunities to its citizens.
According to him, what the government started for good has been used for evil by the Okada operators in Lagos. This includes how it is being used as a tool to aid criminals and hoodlums, to disobey the traffic regulations, move around recklessly and in turn endanger the lives of citizens- many who have died that could have been avoided.
In addition to that, Odumosu has also revealed that all shanties will be destroyed as well and abandoned cars or buildings will be seized as well in order to prevent criminals from using them as their hiding place after breaking the law.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said, “In recent times, we have recorded a worrying trend of nefarious activities in the State; from kidnappings, armed robbery, cult clashes and violent assaults.
“We have tried, as a state, to respond in real time to the current challenges, and have deployed a range of tactics and now this 3 multi-stakeholder town hall event to which we have invited various stakeholder platforms to proffer solutions; after which we will make some pronouncements that are intended to go a long way in addressing the majority of challenges we have today.
“Consequentially, to advance our interests and objectives as a state, in the context of security, is to ensure that we contain and arrest every form of aggression and crime that threatens the development, progress and growth of the state.
“For us in Lagos State, there is a direct relationship between security and economic growth and development that will last. We cannot speak of a 21st century megacity and the vision of a Greater Lagos if we are unable to assure and guarantee the security of our citizens and their properties.
He added that his administration has risen up to the hazardous challenge of attacking the current state of insecurity and the limited resources available.
“Over the last couple of weeks and months, and in direct response to the growing issues of violence and insecurity in the state, we have put in place a number of measures designed to limit the activities that are fanning the flames of insecurity, all with a view to securing our state. Some of the measures we have put in place are: Monitoring of Abandoned Buildings and Properties.
“Having seen a general trend of hoodlums converting abandoned buildings and construction sites within the State into crime havens, from which they plan and launch their criminal missions, the State Government has taken active steps to curb this menace, by commencing the full implementation and enforcement of the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2019 as amended.
“This law abolishes the abandonment of buildings, whether under construction or completed, and also prohibits construction workers from remaining within the premises of buildings under construction, from 6pm daily.
We will hold property developers and owners responsible for any breaches of these laws, and will not hesitate to seal off defaulting buildings,” the governor said.
I commend the government for taking this initiative. However, I’d admonish that if they want to ban motorcycles, they shouldn’t defeat their purpose for starting it in the first place. They created it to provide jobs for people and so they should consider the amount of people they will be stripping of their source of living and jobs by placing a ban on it.
Alternative arrangements should be made for them first, before it is banned. Failure to do so will still put insecurity issues on the rise because when the people are hungry and desperate, they will break the laws. We saw this happen during the COVID lockdown.
People raped, robbed and killed others because of hunger and failure of the government to provide any healthy alternatives as to how the people would be cared for without their various shops and workplaces.
The government should provide them with other job opportunities, cash and welfare packages to sustain themselves in the meantime, help them sell their motorcycles and start other businesses or give them opportunities to learn a skill or a trade and other ways they can earn money to fend for themselves and their loved ones.