The Lagos state task force is saddled with the task of special enforcement that ensures sanity in the polity, as far as the state is concerned.
The police task force therefore serves as a sledge hammer that crushes lawlessness, at least, to reduce it to its barest.
But when it comes to the enforcement of the policy that that banned the operations of the commercial motorcyclists known as Okada Riders popularly, a big question hangs in the air. and this borders on the mods operandi of the task force.
When the various restrictions leading to the ban of commercial motorcyclist came public, most of the operators returned to the interiors or rural \suburban areas to continue plying their trade to be able to service their lives, given that the major factor that created the okada (sub sector) in Lagos state and other places is unemployment and hardship. Returning to the interiors however did not grant them the needed solace as they remained constantly under the pressure of the State Task Force and the police Command who were relying on the State ban to mete punishments to the population that earn their living through the “Okada Job “.
It became too risky for anyone to invest in the business due to the fact that like a hawk. pounces on chicks, the law enforcement officers can appear through various guises and impound their vehicles (motorcycles).
Since the clampdown began, there has been wailing and lamentation in the land ,coming from the avalanche of stakeholders in this controversial business area, most of who got their “bikes”through loans from desperate operators of microfinance banks.
The pain is most owing the fact that when the law enforcement officers or officials impound these bikes, they are sold or dumped at a site in Lagos from where they can never return to the owners.
Considering the fact that no palliatives are coming to the people whose terrains of survival have been abolished by government, it must be stated that the Lagos state government is anti_poor in this agenda or move, given the poverty that visit the families that depend on the commercial motorcycle business for survival.
More so, the state did not target the importers and sellers of these abominable products (MOTORCYCLES); rather they collect money or revenues from them, thereby allowing the existence of sales points from where the poor will go and buy detrimentally.
At this juncture ,it is pertinent to blame the hawk that takes the chicks in their innocence a situation that portrays the Lagos state government action against the poor who are exemplified through the okarda world.
How explicable is it that the means of livelihood of the commoners who have subsisted and survived through this extremely menial ways are deprived and abandoned to a punitive fate?
If the Lagos state is human and humane, shouldn’t they offer meaningful palliatives to this generation of the poor who can be easily lured and hired by criminal elements to heighten insecurity? strange enough the seized motorcycles which the public think are usually recycled are transported or shipped out of Lagos for the purpose of financial gains (this is from grapevine).
But against the fact that no media publicity has ever revealed where these motorcycles are ground through a recycling process, there is an iota of worry over what becomes of the motorcycles snatched from their owners, using the instrumentality of state laws?
Many a concerned Lagosians is perturbed by this trend, given that some state there is great suspicion that some state agents sell these motorcycles to other areas to enrich themselves.
Denying people of their means of livelihood without an escape provision in a country where inflation is all time high, and is most unfortunate and immoral.
It must also be noted that when a government stops the only means that help people through the very impassable street paths to their homes at different times, without winking or blinking an eye about how they return home, after the days job, then that government is lacking in its people oriented schemes in a democracy.
In view of these, will it be wrong to think that the Lagos state government is inconsiderate of the poor and insincere with the way the okarda ban targets operators alone ( and by extension the commuters who use them in suburbs of badly deteriorated Lagos streets), while allowing importers and distributors to display their ;absurd; wares tantalizingly before the helpless poor who must get microfinance loans to buy, only to be endangered shortly after when the TASK FORCE or the police strike?.
Prince Chukwudi Timothy Samuel