Nigeria, a country where politicians and public servants dont care about the plights of voters or electorates who voted to put them in governance, Once Once an ordinary candidates gets into governance, he forgets about their needs or repaying the dividends of democracy to the lower class where he once belongs to.
Recently there has been widespread disruption in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos on the first working day of a ban on motorbike- and tricycle-taxis.
The Lagos State Government announced the ban last week, blaming motorbike taxi drivers for an escalating number of fatal accidents and accusing them of acting as getaway drivers for criminals. The move was a blow to startups such as OPay, in which Softbank Group Corp. is an investor, and a boost to Uber and Bolt.
Nigeria’s commercial capital has one of the highest car densities in the world, with about 200 cars per kilometer, and lacks rail services or adequate transport via waterways. Extra buses and ferries will be commissioned to ease the crisis, the state government said in a statement on Monday.
Lagos state government, which is the commercial hub of Nigeria’s economy is notorious in attacking poor massess from destroying shanties to illegal crack down, human right abuse of South Easterners doing business in various areas of the state, to brutal police attacks on innocent residents of the state.
There were long queues at bus stations even though extra transport was laid on, while some walked for miles.
Commercial motorbikes are the most common form of public transport in the city of at least 20 million people, which is notorious for traffic jams.
The authorities said the ban was needed because of safety concerns.
They said the motorbike taxis, known as okadas, and tricycles, called kekes, caused “death and disorderliness”.
t has, aided by security agencies who have been accused of going beyond their remit.
The ban did not include private motorbikes and motorcycles used by delivery companies but on Saturday, the first day of the ban, there were complaints that the police were arresting them.
A few commercial dissenters were arrested over the weekend, but there was near total compliance with the ban on Monday, the first working day since it took effect.
The ban affects the city’s main business areas, such as Ikoyi, Ikeja, Victoria Island, Surulere, and the bridges and highways which link the different bits of the coastal city. Okadas and kekes are still allowed in some of residential areas of the state, especially where many poorer people live.
Meanwhile on the other hand, Naija247news has confirmed that Lagos-based motorcycle-hailing startup, Gokada, has laid off 70 percent of its workforce due to notorious senseless Lagos state government ban which would be regulated to keep the poor masses busy.
Founded by Fahim Saleh to solve Nigeria’s largest city’s traffic problems. Since then, Gokada has gone on to raise a total of $5.6 million from two rounds and claims to have completed more than a million rides.
Just a week ago, on January 27, the Lagos state government announced the ban of all forms of motorcycles and tricycles in major parts of Lagos. Motorcycle-hailing startups like Gokada and
This caused the startups to engage in a protest against the new regulation. Also, Saleh released a video addressing the ban, so it comes as a surprise if the green-branded motorcycle-hailing service has taken this course of action
Lagosians react to notorious the ban?
The decision has not gone down well with commuters, who feel the decision is elitist and targeted at the poor.
As many sweaty commuters waited at the bus stations for unavailable taxis and buses on Monday, they wondered why the government did not provide alternatives before placing the ban.
The government said it had provided more public buses and boats for those along the waterways, but the truth is that the kekes and okadas provided a badly needed service.
They plied the streets and hard-to-reach areas where buses and taxis are unable to go.
The politicians don’t care about our suffering, do they use okadas?”
In this city where appearance means a lot to many people, the okadas saved them from the dust and the sweat of walking, by dropping them off at their doorsteps.
The people who will approve of the ban are private cars owners who had a difficult relationship with the two- and three-wheelers. Anyone who has driven in Lagos, or in any of the Nigerian cities where okadas and kekes operate, will know how frustrating it is to share the same road with them.
It makes no sense, they should not have banned both. They should have banned okada and left keke.”
Another group who will approve of the ban are the drivers of yellow buses and taxis, who experienced a surge in customers on Monday.
“The ban is good, those people [keke and okada riders] did not obey rules,” said one driver at the Obalende bus station on Lagos Island.
How have keke and okada riders reacted?
There was a small protest in the Ijora area of Lagos, where a handful of okada riders burnt tyres and blocked the main road.
But they were dispersed by security forces, who had earlier warned that defaulters would be dealt with.
There was also a protest on Friday against the ban as riders who belonged to ride-hailing companies called for better regulation rather than an outright ban.
As it is now, commercial motorcycles and tricycles have been pushed to the fringes of the city as they are still allowed in certain parts, but it is away from the lucrative business areas bustling with passengers.
Thousands of keke and okada riders are likely to lose their livelihoods in a city where unemployment is widespread.
What has the government said?
The state government said it was “not unaware that enforcing this directive may lead to some job losses” and that the governor would announce measures to tackle the effects of the order.
A statement on Sunday also noted the “little discomfort experienced by commuters on some routes due to the absence of motorcycles and tricycles” and added that it will not last as alternatives are being rolled out.
The public bus service said it had deployed 65 buses along major routes and the government announced additional ferry services.
No end of Chaos in site
It is most unlikely that there would be a reversal on the ban, as the Lagos authorities attempt to impose order on the city.
But many wonder how a city with the population of Portugal and Switzerland combined does not have a rail network or a developed ferry service.
The public bus system is barely enough to cope with a small fraction of the population, while previous governor Akinwunmi Ambode is being investigated for corruption in purchase of more buses, an allegation he denies.
Commuting in Lagos has been greatly helped by the commercial motorcycles and the three-wheeler taxis.
There is a need to be served, and the proof is in the millions of dollars raised by foreign investors in the ride-hailing motorcycle taxi business.
The kekes were brought into Nigeria as part of a poverty alleviation programme under a previous government.