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Okada/Keke Ban: Amaechi, Agbaje, Gbadamosi react, advise Sanwo-Olu on what to do

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Okada Ban

More reactions have continued to trail the ban on the operations of motorcycles and tricycles popularly known as Okada and Keke by the Lagos state government.

Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Action Democratic Party (ADP) in the 2019 election, Jimi Agbaje and Babatunde Gbadamosi respectively have also advised the government to rescind the decision.

Amaechi said the ban would lead to unemployment and increase the crime rate in the state. Agbaje said the formal operators (Gokada, Max, Opay) should not be included in the ban since they have regulated themselves, while Gbadamosi also corroborated Agbaje’s advice.

Amaechi while speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Monday said:

“Speaking as a former Governor, when I was in Rivers State, they were using motorcycles to rob and kidnap people, and the police could never get them because they were using cars; so I banned motorcycles and we had peace. The number of accidents was also high – the orthopaedic hospital was full every day.

“I don’t know the reason why the Governor of Lagos state banned it; only he can tell you. I am sure he made his decision based on the interests of a majority of Lagosians.

“But he has a problem to face, which is unemployment and an increase in crime.”

Agbaje in a series of tweets via his verified Twitter handle wrote:

“A Lagos City state for the 21st century needs proper planning. The reasons for the ban on commercial motorcycles (Okada) and motor tricycles (Keke marwa) by the Lagos State Government are noted. But what about the people?

“My view is that such outright ban on major routes will be counterproductive and difficult to enforce. It will also have negative ripple effects on the economy with so many already out of work & cause inconvenience to commuters.

“The formal operators that have thus far regulated themselves should be allowed to continue, with stringent regulation & enforcement of traffic laws.”

Gbadamosi in a thread of tweets via his handle said while many will lose their jobs, others will also lose their jobs over lateness to work.

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He wrote:

Sometime last month, The Lagos State Government announced a partial ban on ALL operators of commercial motorcycles and tricycles in some named parts of Lagos State.

“The ban went into effect yesterday, Friday, 1st of February 2020. The scenes across Lagos were expected. Thousands of stranded commuters were left to make their way on foot to their various destinations.

“Social media is awash with stories of Lagosians’ first day without their beloved “Keke” and “Okada”.

“Sadly, reports are also rife of law enforcement agents enforcing this ban in areas not named in the official announcement, as a means of extorting hapless operators already reeling from the nefarious activities of the NURTW – its affiliates and the restriction placed on areas in which they can trade. This was not intended, but should have been foreseen. The question that bothers my mind in all of this, is how Lagos State will be perceived in international business circles following this odd, but partially necessary action.

“At the advent of this new administration, several agreements were signed with, monies paid by and permits were issued to a slew of local and foreign investors in ride hailing services which took the Uber business model to the Okada and Keke platforms.

“These services, namely Opay, Gokada and Max.ng, appeared well regulated, with riders who were noticeably more domesticated, better behaved & better kitted than the Okada & Keke Lagosians loved to hate, but needed, due to the bad roads & never-ending gridlock.

“The ride hailing services were first given a baptism of fire by the government itself within a few weeks of starting operations, with extortionate demands, followed by some government officials, who began to extort the riders by seizing their vehicles on flimsy excuses.

“They were quickly followed by the unions, who demanded & got a massive daily fee from these “regulated” riders. The foregoing, to me, demonstrates most graphically the inability of the operators of government to grasp or understand the mind of the investor, local or foreign.

“Nobody will go where they know that government action will affect their investment adversely. It is very possible that @followlasg, as a corporate entity, will lose whatever is left of its credibility in the eyes of the global business community over this avoidable fiasco.

“For Lagosians, the struggle to survive will become even more real, if by Monday, 3rd of February 2020, Governor Jide Sanwoolu does not announce a new transport initiative that will fill the gap left by the riders he has banned.

“Millions will lose not just their Okada and Keke livelihoods, but many more will lose their jobs to lateness or even outright inability to report to work at all. It is almost inevitable that there will be an upsurge in crime, reported or not, which is mostly the case.

“I would strongly urge the governor to reconsider this decision immediately, exempting the ride hailing services from this ban in exchange for better profiling, perhaps even including biometric ID and GPS monitoring systems.

“This review can be done and announced before Monday, to avert the commuting chaos and suffering that will surely befall Lagosians on Monday. It is not too late.”

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Woman attempts suicide in Anambra

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A middle-aged woman has reportedly attempted suicide over undisclosed marital challenges in Nnewi area of Anambra state.

The victim whose name was given on her Facebook page as Ifeoma Obiora had in two separate posts claimed she was contemplating taking her life in order to be far from her troubles.

She also said her problem was compounded as nobody was willing to hear her out or do anything about her plights.

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She said, “In these moments before my departure, I feel more clarity than I have ever felt in my dull life. In one minute, I will be free from the voices, from the pain, and from you.”

“Nobody listened. Nobody cared.”

Reacting, Police spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed said preliminary findings by the Police who had established contact with her showed she was in a troubled marriage and was seeking a divorce.

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He said her challenges were civil but the Command had invited the couple for counseling.

He said, “The Area Commander Nnewi has gotten her. She has a family problem and was seeking for a divorce

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17 killed as troops overrun B’Haram ambush in Borno

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No fewer than 17 Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters were killed and several others wounded when troops of 25 Task Force Brigade deployed at Damboa in conjunction with elements of Sector 2 Special Forces overran the terrorists’ ambush along Damboa -Maiduguri Road in Borno State.

John Enenche, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations (DMO), who disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja, said 17 terrorists were also killed in the attack.

The Coordinator said the troops of 25 Task Force Brigade deployed at Damboa in conjunction with elements of Sector 2 Special Forces while on clearance operations along Damboa -Maiduguri Road on Tuesday, 7 July, encountered the Boko Haram ambush team along their axis of advance.

“Instinctively, the valiant troops outflanked and engaged the criminals with an overwhelming volume of firepower forcing them to withdraw in disarray.

“In the aftermath of the encounter, 17 Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province criminals were neutralized as several others were believed to have narrowly escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds while a cache of arms and ammunition were equally captured by the gallant troops.

“Regrettably, 2 valiant soldiers paid the supreme price while 4 others were wounded in action. However, the wounded in action soldiers have been evacuated to a military medical facility and currently responding positively to treatment”, he said.

Enenche further informed that the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole has been directed to immediately deploy a Special Forces Battalion to reinforce and dominate Damboa – Bulabulin – Maiduguri axis to completely deny the terrorists any chance of escape during the final assault against the criminals.

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Relatedly, the coordinator also disclosed that the troops of Sector 3 and Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole have killed several terrorists who attempted to breach Gubio Town in the Northern part of Borno State.

He said a gun truck was destroyed by the combined efforts of the land and air forces during the attack.

“During the encounter, a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, and fighter jets were scrambled to the location. The ISR aircraft spotted the terrorists in their gun trucks and vectored the jets to engage them, neutralizing one of the gun trucks and its occupants.

“The ISR aircraft continued to provide situational awareness as the ground troops engaged the terrorists on the ground, inflicting further casualties on the terrorists”, the coordinator said.

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Three Nigerian girls trafficked to Lebanon cry out for help as they are about to be sold online

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The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) have been called upon to rescue three Nigerian ladies who were trafficked to Lebanon about to be sold in an online auction.

A twitter user, Adekola Damilola raised the alarm on the social media platform said the ladies were trafficked and about to be sold by their boss in Lebanon.

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The ladies claimed that they are about to be sold by their boss and therefore called on Nigerian authorities to come to their aid.

In her reaction, the Chairman of Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa tweeted that her agency has forwarded the video to NAPTIP, the agency in charge of trafficking to trace them and expressed optimism that they will be located.

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