The South West Zone of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has berated the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for banning motorcycle and tricycle operators in some parts of the state.
NANS said “it is pure irresponsibility for a government to ban peoples’ jobs and not create another in replacement.”
The students body queried the Lagos State government on its plans to replace the lost jobs
“What has Governor Sanwo-Olu done as policy to replace the okadas? If government cannot provide jobs, is it not political insanity to ban jobs?”
In a statement made available to DAILY POST on Wednesday, the NANS Coordinator for the Zone D, Kowe Odunayo Amos, said it was disappointing that the Lagos State Government allegedly blocked people’s means of livelihood without providing alternatives.
The statement reads in part:
“We read with disappointment the order by the Lagos State Government restricting tricycle and motorcycle from plying certain areas in the State and, after thorough and critical analysis of the policy, we make bold to assert that it is evil and it would help strengthen crime, joblessness and corruption in the society.
“We remind the public that this is the umpteenth time that the Lagos State Government is banning Okada and tricycle citing closely but different reasons. These reasons in all sincerity really lack genuinity as these same okadas are allowed close to elections to the extent that politicians share same to young unemployed graduates in their constituency as a means of empowerment.
“Also, it is pure irresponsibility for a government to ban peoples’ jobs and not create another in replacement. What has Governor Sanwo-Olu done as policy to replace the okada? If government cannot provide jobs, is it not political insanity to ban jobs. We are reminded of the Yoruba saying that “an Oracle that couldn’t save or uplift should at least leave us the way we are.”
“Let it be known that the rationale given by the State Government for the introduction and enforcement of this policy that motorcycle is being used by criminals to perpetuate crime is ill-conceived and not well-thought. The reality is that one is more likely to be kidnapped with a car than with a bike and armed robbers are more likely to use a car than a bike. Also, it is the lack of real social infrastructures that is causing crime, not okada. We need to ask the Lagos State Government how many jobs they have created in the past two years?
“In fact, if something aiding another thing is a ground to cancel it, the question now is, why not scrap the State House of Assembly and Senate because they aid wastage of money? Another angle is that many places that the Lagos State Government has deemed it fit to ban okada riders are not motorable while some are not routes of commercial buses. Bikes and tricycles are the only option. We make bold to assert that the government cannot just wake up to place a ban on motorcycle if they have not provided alternatives as is the situation today. This means the people should be suffering while the governor and his cronies fly helicopters all around.
“It is on record that Opay and the likes are registered as a corporate body with the government and they pay tax; it was this same government that gave them license to operate. Now if the government is now banning okada, this automatically means that it discourages people from investing in our economy so far the government can wake up and spoil the investment with an ill-conceived policy.
“We demand that Governor Sanwo-Olu halt the ban on okada riders and face the real issues as we have raised.”
Meanwhile, NANS has given Gov Sanwo-Olu 10 working days ultimatum to lift the ban on bikes and tricycles in the state and apologise to Lagos residents.
“By this statement, the students of Southwestern Nigeria is giving the Lagos State Government 10 working days to lift the ban on okada, negotiate with the Okada Unions and apologise to Lagosians for the inconveniences.
“In all, we call on all students to know that many Okada riders are graduates fending for themselves because of the irresponsibility of successive government.
Hence, such jobs for survival must not be criminalized while we demand living jobs with living wages for all,” NANS requested maintained.