CDHR seeks review of controversial Lagos Traffic Law

Okada riders used to illustrate the story.

The Lagos State Chairman, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, Buna Isiak, on Thursday called on the State Government to review the controversial Lagos Traffic Law.

Mr. Isiak, who spoke with journalists, in Lagos said the law had imposed heavy restriction on commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada riders.

He said the law was inconsistent with certain sections of the Nigerian constitution that guarantees right to trade and freedom of movement.

“The heavy restriction which is tantamount to outright ban contravenes Sections 41 and 42 of the constitution,’’ he said.

Mr. Isiak described the prohibition government placed on okada riders on 475 roads as “barbaric”. He said that hundreds of motorcycles had been seized by the police and Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LATSMA), adding that this had make life unbearable for the riders and their families.

“This means that the riders of those seized commercial motorcycles are now jobless having been denied their means of livelihood.

“Several casualties have also been reported to our offices where some of the motorcycle riders were beaten to death and many maltreated by the law enforcement officers,” he said.

The CDHR chairman said that government’s refusal to review the law would encourage perennial violence and insecurity in the state.

Also speaking, Debo Adeniran, the National Coordinator, Campaign against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, said that the law had made life unbearable for the masses in the state.

Mr. Adeniran said that there is the need for government to avoid policies that would frustrate the people which might lead to anarchy. He said that most people in Nigeria resorted to Okada riding as a means of livelihood due to the inability of governments to provide jobs for its people.

“The idea of Mega City is not about reducing the number of people in the state because it is the people that give the special status of mega city,” he said.

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