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…But impounds over 1750 in other states
In line with its earlier public statement by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Joint Tax Board (JTB) to flag off clampdown on tricycles and motorcycles without number plates and riders without class ‘A’ license on 2 October, 2019; the Commission mid last week arrested over 1750 violators, for non compliance nationwide except in Lagos.
Though a release by Bisi Kazeem, the Corps Public Education Officer said the special clampdown intervention patrol recorded massive arrests of offenders in 18 states including Kaduna, Nasarawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Delta, Benue, Oyo, Niger, Kwara, Adamawa, Kogi, Zamfara, Anambra, Sokoto, Osun, Rivers , Kano and Ondo state, it was silent on what transpired in Lagos.
Statistics shows that Lagos currently hosts the highest number of tricycles and motorcycles without number plates and riders without class ‘A’ license, but checks across the state revealed that FRSC may have decided to avoid the clampdown in the state.
Some Okada and Tricycle operators who spoke to our correspondents
expressed surprise on why the state was left out in the clampdown because the state was not in the list given by the FRSC.
According to them, apart from the fact that majority of Okada riders never attended any form of driving training before riding Okada on highways, their motorcycles are largely unregistered.
They revealed that due to the fact that many of them are mainly from northern states and not too good in English language, FRSC usually avoid any form of engagement with them on highways.
They also revealed further that even the Police hardly check on them on highways.
One of the Okada riders (23), who introduced himself Haruna simply summed up everything saying “We don’t disturb ourselves with all these documentation including particulars, drivers’ licence or whatever because all law enforcement officials are either our brothers or usually have pity on us.
“In fact, some of us paste any paramilitary emblem or symbol or photo of two guns as our plate numbers and nobody asks us any question.
According to him, “My brothers at home told us that they are catching them and we told them that nobody is disturbing us here in Lagos”.
On the chances of the State Government coming down hard on Okada riders any time soon, Haruna argued that “I don’t think the governor will think such because we are helping people meet up their timely engagements when traffic is everywhere.
“We are now plying every highway in the state and nobody is disturbing us.
“Let me tell you. Many of us you see from the North do not like what we are doing in Lagos. We have what we do at home but because there is no peace, we are here. We are all supposed to be some IDP camps, but as young men with power, we decided to come to Lagos and try our lucks.
In his summary, Haruna averred that “If Road Safety thinks of clamping down on us in Lagos, they will be overpowered and it may result to something nasty. Am saying this because I know my people.”
However, in his official breakdown of reports of arrests across states, Kazeem revealed that “The highest number of arrests was recorded in Kaduna state with a total of 430 arrests. Nasarawa state followed suit with a total of 219 arrests comprising of 15 tricycles and 204 motorcycles.
FRSC added that “In Benue state alone, a total of 147 arrests have been made, comprising of 140 motorcycles and 7 tricycles. Other are; Ondo 61, Anambra 41, Kebbi 51, Katsina 110, Delta 92, Zamfara 76, Oyo 178, Kogi 16, Mubi 10, Rivers 11, Kano 132, Niger 28, Osun 66 and Sokoto 10.
Kazeem revealed that across the states, the massive arrests were successful due to the friendly collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corpse and other law enforcement agencies.
Business Hilights recalls that the Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi stressed when the idea came up in August that “The essence of this operation is to enhance the security of lives and properties of road users. There have been series of reports of pervasive use of these categories of vehicles to perpetuate all manners of crime and we are saying enough is enough. All Tricycles and motorcycles must have an identity so that they can be easily traced”.
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