Sanwo-Olu, ban okada, but for now, don’t ban tricycles and corporate bikes

Sanwo-Olu, ban okada, but for now, don’t ban tricycles and corporate bikes
February 05
20:09 2020

My job is to candidly advice those in the corridors of power on issues affecting our people, either at the Federal or State level. This unpopular-role has fetched me a lot of enemies and a few friends. Over the years, not using political, tribal and religious lens, I have looked at varied national issues, which have attracted both a few applauds and a sea of faces of knocks. I am used to people giving me knocks, but that will not stop me from taking unpopular positions on issues impacting negatively on our people.

Towards the tail of last week, the government of Sanwo-Olu made an unpopular decision, banning “Okada,” “tricycles” and “corporate bikes.” One thing you cannot take away from leaders, who know their onions is unpopular decisions, wearing a human face. You do not have to like everything they do—as long as it solves existing-problems without creating new ones.

The latest decision by the governor of Lagos State, banning “Okada,” “tricycles” and “corporate bikes” was not well thought out. Whatever decisions leaders make to solve problems should not create more problems. Am I in support of the total ban of “Okada” in Lagos? Yes! Also, am I in support of the total ban of “tricycle” and “corporate bikes”? No! Regulate “tricycles” and “corporate bikes,” but don’t ban them completely for now. And after putting real palliatives in place, so our people do not suffer unnecessarily as they are having it right now, you can phase them out, expending the next two years. This is how crucial decisions are made in leadership in saner climes.

When decisions are not well thought-out, political leaders end-up making unnecessary enemies for themselves! Sanwo-Olu is gradually losing the love that Lagosians have for him. Saying that he has rolled out sixty (65) buses and fifteen (15) ferries to cushion the negative-impact of his lackluster-decision is very discourteous, offensive and insulting. In a State where millions of law abiding citizens move from one point to another on a daily basis, what can sixty-five (65) buses and fifteen (15) ferries do?

On my way to “Ikeja GRA” yesterday, I saw a lot of Lagosians trekking both from “Ikeja GRA” to under “bridge Ikeja” and to “Ikeja GRA” from under “bridge Ikeja.” This is absolutely unfair. The good people of Lagos State are not happy with it. The decision is draconian in nature and it is completely alien to the tenets of democracy. I advice the listening governor of Lagos State to reverse a part of the unpopular decision he made last week, regulating “tricycles” and “corporate bikes” while he works hard to phase them out completely in the next two years.

We have gone through this route before. When Raji Fashola was in power, “Okada” was completely banned. But because politicians need “Okada” riders to win elections, they were allowed back on our roads in Lagos. Insincerity of politicians is worse than the problem of insecurity they are professing to solve. Politicians enjoy speaking from the two sides of their mouth. They are good at shifting the goal post while the game is on.

As if that was not enough, when Akinwumi Ambode got to power, he also banned them like his predecessor. But after a while, he also allowed them back on our roads, for reasons best known to him. For years, we have been moving in cycle in Lagos State. And it is very clear as water that the cycle is an unending one. In a few years from now, we are surely going to return to where we are right now.

There is no point inflicting unnecessary pain on our people when we all know that during the next governorship election in Lagos State and presidential election in Nigeria as a whole that “Okada” and “tricycles” will return to all our roads in Lagos. When elections time come, it will be like a demon being cast out and later invites seven (7) other ones to join it, when an opportunity is extending to it. It usually gets worse during elections!

Lastly, we are supposed to be encouraging entrepreneurs in Lagos, not discouraging them! We were all happy when a few folks came up (against all odds) with the brilliant idea of corporate bikes. As an effect of those intelligent industrialists, many young and strong Nigerians were taken from the streets, making money—by taking different people to different destinations, within Lagos State. They must have taken loans before setting those businesses up and to daily keep them moving. You know it is hard to run businesses in Nigeria.

How do we expect them to pay back their loans? Is this not going to wreck the health of some of them? Does the governor of Lagos State have any bail-out-plan for them? We cannot afford to discourage our brilliant young folks from creating jobs for our teeming unemployed youths. I know governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu listens. We have met once. Kindly prove me right, Mr. governor. Thank you in advance.



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