By Segun James
Ten people were arrested yesterday for attacking the men of the State Agency for the Implementation of Sanitary Protection in Lagos (Taskforce) during the implementation of state traffic laws.
The suspects were picked up in a riot that broke out in Ojodu and Obanikoro during the implementation of the Task Force in several areas in Lagos.
No less than 96 commercial motorcycles, popularly called Okada, which work on highways and other limited routes in the metropolis, were seized in yesterday’s operation.
Also, four motorists who were driving against the traffic were arrested by the Anti-One Way faskforce team.
It was gathered that some strikes joined forces with Okada drivers around Ojodu Gymnasium in order to resist the move of the Working Group for confiscation of motorcycles seized during the execution.
As the gunmen, armed with iron bars and broken bottles, approached the labor operatives, police officers, led by Labor President Sholo Jejeloye, a police supervisor (SP), repulsed the attack and dispersed the mobsters.
Passers-by and residents turned to security as labor operatives chased the hoods. Five suspects arrested.
There was tension in the area for a few minutes, before normalcy returned. Labor officers stayed in the area for hours in an attempt to secure retaliation against residents.
Also in Obanikor, Okada drivers, when they saw the executive team, pelted the operative forces with stones. Police arrested four people who took part in the attack. One person was arrested in Oyota.
Jejeloye said the task force will not give in to its activities to get reason back on track. He warned that commercial motorcycles that operate illegally on restricted routes to stop defying the government’s restriction order, advising them to limit their activities to the roads they are allowed to drive.
He said: “We are not surprised by the attack on us by some hooligans in Obanikor and Oyodu due to the execution of the mandate given to this team by the government of the state of Lagos. But this will never deter us from spreading enforcement to other areas of states where notorious road users and Okada drivers have been a nuisance.
“We do not aspire to commercial motorcycles operating in areas where their activities are permitted; we are for those who violate restraining orders and motorists who violate state traffic laws. This is not the first time that our people have been attacked, but we will not give in to the execution. Ten of those who attacked us have been arrested and will be duly charged. ”
The chairman of the working group claimed that the agency’s team would work day and night during Yuletide to enforce the law, warning perpetrators to refrain from violating state traffic laws.