What We ‘ll Do To Okada Riders Soon, Lagos Deputy Gov, Hamzat Opens Up

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  • Laments 28 Deaths Linked To Okada Accidents Monthly

Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat said on Thursday that the state will soon decide on what to do to operators in the motorcycle business, popularly known as Okada riders as Okada has now become the primary mode of transportation in the state.

Hamzat worries that the rise in Okada usage across Lagos has been throwing up a lot of concerns bordering on health, environment and social issues.

According to him, 28 deaths are monthly linked to Okada accidents in Lagos. He said this has further provoked the debate on the need to curb the excesses of the operators and for the government to find a lasting solution to it.

The Deputy Governor spoke at a lecture in Lagos organized by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) themed: ‘The Role of Traditional Leaders in Protecting and Restoring the Nigerian Environment.’

Hamzat noted that taking a definite position on bike businesses in the state is a tough and emotional decision to make, but it is the intention of the current administration in Lagos to keep leading the conversation on some changes that must be made to promote a sustainable environment.

“We must decide to leave a society that’s better than what we met for our children and our grandchildren if not we would have done a total dis-service to them, therefore certain things must change.

“Some of the things that must be changed is should Okada be a mode of transportation in a state like Lagos? Those are the questions. So that we don’t now emotionalize everything because we’re a very emotional people. Should it be and that decision will be made very soon because of pollution and accidents.

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“In our general hospitals, myself and Mr. Governor went to an hospital on the Lagos Island, the six people we met at the emergency section were all in coma as a result of Okada related accidents. They don’t know where they were, they were in coma.

“In our general hospitals, every months 28 deaths are linked to Okada. As a people is that what we would like to continue? People have have made the argument, what would the people do? Which job should they do? Fantastic argument but I ask the question, everybody in this room wants us to have power, so we want to have 24/7 power and it’s desirable. so what do you want the people selling generators to do? Because if we ask the same question the other way, then we should ask this question also.

“So because we don’t want people selling generators to be out of business we shouldn’t have power? The reality is there must be that paradigm shift so that we can live a sustainable life ourselves.” Hamzat said.

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'Dotun Akintomide's journalism works intersect business, environment, politics and developmental issues. Among a number of local and international publications, his work has appeared in the New York Times. He's a winner of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Award. Currently, the Online Editor at The New Diplomat, Akintomide has produced reports that uniquely spoke to Nigeria's experience on Climate Change issues. When Akintomide is not writing, volunteering or working on a media project, you can find him seeing beautiful sites like the sandy beaches that bedecked the Lagos coastline.

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