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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Okada riders protest in Lagos, damage government vehicles

Hundreds of commercial cyclists, commonly called Okada, protesting government restrictions on their operation, went on the rampage on Monday morning in Lagos attacking government owned buses and obstructing traffic.

The state government recently barred the cyclists from plying 475 routes in the metropolis.
The protest was particularly violent in the Isolo, Mushin axis of the state; and along the Lagos-Ikorodu Expressway. 

The protesters attacked the government –run Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) bus lane along the Lagos –Ikorodu Expressway, allegedly destroying five buses.

In Isolo, they also attacked policemen sent to quell the protest, injuring some of them.
The protest worsened the notoriously chaotic traffic in the metropolis as many commuters, fearing for their lives, refused to travel on the BRT buses.

Concerned Lagosians put out Blackberry messages warning commuters from using BRT buses and avoiding the areas where the protest were most violent.

A lot of commuters were seen stranded at busy bus stops while others resorted to walking to their destinations.

Meanwhile, the executives of the cyclists’ union say they are in discussion with the state government with a view to make the government relax some the restrictions.

Source: Premium Times

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