Lagos taskforce clears out illegal shanties, impounds 359 motorcycles 

The Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Enforcement unit (Taskforce) Wednesday cleared out illegal shanties and impounded 359 motorcycles that violated the law.

The operation no retreat no surrender is a follow up to the launch of the Red Line Rail project of the Lagos state government on commercial motorcycles popularly known as okada and the defiant squatters who erect shanties along rail tracks in the state.

The 2-day long operation, led by the chairman of the agency, a Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP Shola Jejeloye, covered areas like Fagba rail track, Iju-Ishaga, Abbatoir and Pen Cinema, resulting in the confiscation of bikes that operated on restricted routes, state highways and bridges located in those areas.

Speaking on the operation, chairman of the agency, CSP Jejeloye Olushola, stated that miscreants who loiter around the abbatoir supported the okada operators in resisting arrest and causing mayhem to prevent the confiscation of the bikes but were subdued by the tactical and combatant superiority of the taskforce.

“It was a complex operation seizing these bikes from their recalcitrant operators due to the presence of miscreants lurking around the abattoir. They threw stones and objects at us in order to thwart our effort but they were no match for our tactical superiority.

“During the course of the okada operations, the taskforce after a month of launching the Red Line Railway project by the state government cleared out shanties that have sprung up again along Fagba Rail track and confiscated bikes that troop out from inner streets to operate along the tracks.

“The presence of okada and shanties along the rail tracks pose significant safety risks to residents, passersby and commuters who choose to patronise both the train and commercial motorcycle and clearing them completely improves the aesthetic appeal of the rail area and would also mitigate encroachment on rail infrastructure in the State,” Jejeloye said.

He stated further that the criminality and hooliganism which is prevalent in these area are enabled mainly by okada operators and squatters who turn to crime and rob innocent residents and train commuters. He added  that the confiscation of motorcycles would go a long way in reducing crime and incidents of bag snatching, which most perpetrators make use of okada as a get-away means.

He added that the fight against the menace of okada was ongoing in every nook and cranny of the state and no stone would be left unturned till that fight is won.