Redline rail: Lagos taskforce impounds 359 Okada, demolishes shanties

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The Lagos State Taskforce has commenced demolition of illegal shanties and dislodgment of defiant squatters numbering several hundreds, along Fagba corridor in ongoing clean-up exercise after the launch of the Red Line Rail project of the state government.

In the process, the enforcement team of the taskforce impounded a total of 359 commercial motorcycles popularly called “Okada” that operated on restricted routes, state highways and bridges located in those areas.

Men of the taskforce after a month of Red Line Railway project by state government demolished several shanties that have sprung up again along Fagba Rail track.

The two days long operation which was led by the Chairman of the agency, Chief Superintedent of Police, CSP Shola Jejeloye, covered areas like; Fagba Rail Track, Iju-Ishaga, Abbatoir and Pen Cinema.

Jejeloye, explained that during enforcement, miscreants who loiter around the abbatoir supported the Okada operators in resisting arrest and causing mayhem to prevent the confiscation of the bikes but were subdued by the tactical and combatant superiority of the taskforce.

“It was a complex operation seizing these bikes from their recalcitrant operators due to the presence of miscreants lurking around the abbatoir. They threw stones and objects at us in order to thwart our effort but they were no match for our tactical superiority..

“The presence of okada and shanties along the rail tracks pose significant safety risks to residents, passersby and commuters who choose to patronise both the train and commercial motorcycle.

“Clearing them completely improves the aesthetic appeal of the rail area and would also mitigate encroachment on rail infrastructure in the state,” Jejeloye stated.

He stated that the criminality and hooliganism, prevalent in those areas are aided mainly by okada operators and squatters who turn to crime and rob innocent residents and train commuters.

Jejeloye, disclosed that the confiscation of Okada would go a long way in reducing crime and incidents of bag snatching which most perpetrators make use of Okada as a get-away means.

“The fight against the menace of Okada is on-going in every nook and cranny of the state and no stone will be left unturned till that fight is won.

“We will keep going till every Okada operator gets the message that Lagos highways and other restricted routes is no place for their operation. If you want to operate Okada, you either abide by the rules or risk having your bikes impounded,” Jejeloye maintained.


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