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OKADA BAN: LAGOS SPEAKER TELLS OPERATORS TO GO TO COURT

By NBF News

Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, has advised commercial motorcycle operators (Okada), who are not pleased with restriction placed on their operations in some areas in Lagos metropolis to seek legal redress rather than take laws into their hands.

The Speaker gave the advice at the weekend during a Town Hall meeting held with members of the Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO) where he said the House did not pass any law banning operation of commercial motorcyclists in the state.

He told the audience at the Lagos Airport venue of the meeting that members of the House read the story of the ban of commercial motorcycle operators like every other Lagosian on the pages of newspapers. However, he asserted that it was not enough reason to contravene the order or take law into their hands.

Ikuforiji, therefore, urged the unions of the commercial motorcyclists, who might have felt aggrieved over the ban, to seek redress in the law court, reminding them that in democracy, the court was there for anybody to fight for his right if such a person felt uncomfortable with any government policy.

According to him, 'There was actually a Town Hall meeting held in respect of commercial motorcycle operators in the state, which the House was well aware of. However, based on several reports of the problems constituted by Okada riders in the state, the House was still considering looking critically into their activities within the state before coming out with a law that will rectify or coordinate their operations but the government decided to take actions before we came out with the law.'

He told the aggrieved members of the commercial motorcycle operators to go to court and challenge the ban if they were aggrived, saying: 'The House has not passed or made any law in respect of the recent ban on their activities.'

Ikuforiji said he would not want to go too much into details over the issue so that Lagosians would not consider it another confrontation between the House and the executive.

Reacting to the issue of double taxation in the state, the Speaker once again sought the understanding of Lagosians over the House's position on the return of the N26 billion supplementary budget presented before it by the executive.

While commending the initiative of the CLO in organising such a forum, the Speaker urged civil society groups and the media to do more in building a stronger democracy, warning that 'relenting in your efforts at nuorishing what you fought to have will be at our collective peril.'

Ikuforiji assured that 'everything we do in the House is in the greater interest of the generality of the people of Lagos State in particular and Nigerians in general.'

He described as 'bad politicking, any attempt to misconstrue our duties as delibrate confrontation with the executive.'