By OKUNADE ADEKUNLE
All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, has lambasted the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the last general elections, Mr Jimi Agbaje, over his comments on the partial ban of okada and tricycle operations in the state, saying that he had zero idea about governance at any level.
In a statement issued and signed by the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Seye Oladejo, Lagos APC explained that the law being implemented had been in place for over six years after painstaking efforts by the State’s House Of Assembly to incorporate in-puts from all stakeholders.
The party stated further that the gradual implementation of the law was a reflection of the thoughtfulness of the government not to create a shock in the polity.
The statement reads “My attention has been drawn to the reaction of the PDP serial governorship candidate on the on-going debate on the partial ban of okada and tricycle operations in Lagos State.
It was amusing to read his futile attempt to teach a government well grounded in intellectual and institutional experience how to plan. My check revealed Mr Jimi Agbaje’s relative and inconsequential experience in business and zero idea about governance at any level”
Oladejo added “Let me recall that the law being implemented has been in place for over six years after painstaking efforts by the Lagos State house of assembly to incorporate in-puts from all stakeholders. The gradual implementation of the law is a reflection of the thoughtfulness of the government not to create a shock in the polity”
He added “While he noted the reasons for the partial ban, it was convenient not to acknowledge the measures put in place by government to stem the impart. May I use this medium to acknowledge and appreciate the voluntary compliance of some operators in line with the laws of the state”
“We also wish to encourage the riders to take advantage of opportunities offered by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, the Lagos State Vocational Training Institutes, the ministry of women affairs and poverty alleviation, civic engagement etc
The people remain the focal point of the Sanwo-Olu administration while not losing sight of its onerous responsibility to ensure the safety of lives and property of the citizenry”, stated in the statement
The statement concluded “Whatever skill or ability to organize possessed by Mr Agbaje and his co-travelers will be better deplored to resuscitate the moribund opposition party on life support machine. The efforts to mobilize and sponsor violent protests against a well meaning government policy is also not lost on all and sundry”
Meanwhile, Agbaje via his verified Twitter account said: “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.”
It will be recalled that the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, announced last week that the government would enforce the ban on motorcycles and tricycles in six local government areas, as well as major highways and bridges from February 1.
He explained that the decision was taken after a robust assessment of the debate on the rate of accidents in Lagos, saying security and safety of the lives of the residents were paramount.
He also warned that all offenders and violators would be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the state.
It will right to point out that there was compliance by the operators as okadas and tricycles were not seen at the restricted local governments.