Ikeja is looking very different, people! Unusually calm. No more Okada chasing pedestrians off the sidewalks. No more unnecessary congestion, as a matter of fact. But yes, I do miss them. Today I was really running late for my presentation and I wished for the superbike man who could fly from Maryland to Ikeja- beat the crazy traffic jam and get me to school in time. But alas! Every bike man I called shook his head sadly. The Lagos State governor has banned them from plying the Ikeja route.
Here is how PM news reports it:
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has placed a total ban on commercial motorcycle (okada) operation in Ikeja area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.…A statement issued by the Office of the Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos Police Command and signed by the head, Joseph Jaiyeoba, said the state government and the police took the decision to ban okada because of the high rate of robbery involving the use of okadas.
According to the statement issued the okada unions in Ikeja, the police stated that “due to increasing rate of criminality through the use of motorcycles, popularly known as okada, the Lagos State Government in collaboration with the Lagos State Police Command have decided to put a total ban on okada within Ikeja axis.”
The statement said no okada rider must be found in areas such as Oba Akran, Bank Anthony Way, Isaac John, Opebi Link Bridge, Adekunle Fajuyi Way, Acme Road, Alausa, Oregun, Simbiat Abiola Way and Kodeso Road with immediate effect.
Well, while the ban remains, I’m definitely going to miss them. If you ply any of the areas mentioned above, now you know you will either have to drive your way through or walk more often. I recommend the latter.
If you are walking, here are 4 things you must keep in mind:
1. Stay hydrated ;) Take extra-cash with you to buy bottled water or at least carry with you a bottle of drinking water to sip and stay hydrated. Oh boy, this weather can roast corn without fire. The heat is much people. We should all do all we can to keep a check on this global warming.
2. Walking through Simbiat Abiola Way, Kodesho road and that computer village area, you are going to bump into a lot of random sales people. There are those asking if you want to change your hairstyle, fix your nails, repair your computer, get a tattoo. Etc. I mean, it can be really frustrating but you just have to keep a straight face and nod each time they try to intercept your walk.
3. Now that we are all walking, not everyone is really walking. Please keep a firm grip on your hand-bag. Yes, or that wallet hanging out your back pocket.
4. Give yourself extra travel time. Sometimes, the traffic is really bad, even for those walking.
Enjoy your walk!