JAF, Workers Unions, Human Rights Groups Join Motorbike Operators to Protest Lagos Ban; JAF Advocates System Change

By SaharaReporters, New York


Pro-labour welfare movements, labour unions and civil society groups today expressed their solidarity with the motorbike operators’ union which is protesting the recent ban on them by the Lagos State government preventing operation on major streets of Lagos.

In a symposium organized by the Joint Action Front [JAF] at the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Secretariat in Lagos, the NLC, Academic Staff Union of Universities [ASUU], Nigeria Union of Teachers [NUT], Nigeria Medical Association [NMA], Center for the Defense of Human Rights [CDHR] and United Action for Democracy [UAD] jointly condemned the implementation of what they called a cruel law.  

They criticized the government for implementing the new regulation without due consultation or provision of a social safety net before phasing out operators of commercial motorbikes in the State.

The counsel to the motorbike operators in a suit brought against the Lagos State Government for the ban, Barrister Bamidele Aturu, accused the government of trying to copy the advanced cities of the world at the expense of the poor people of Lagos State.

Evaluating the policies of the current Lagos State Government since inception, the civil society bodies and workers’ unions described the government as an anti-people administration.

Although the symposium was convened to assess the myriad problems confronting the nation including the recent flooding in some parts of the country which rendered many people homeless, the Lagos State ban on commercial motorbikes dominated the discussion. 

Moderated by Dr. Dipo Fashina, the meeting, which lasted more than four hours, resolved to protest the ban and resist further anti-people laws being promulgated by the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN] in the State.

JAF announced that it would mobilize the masses to protest the ban, and condemned the call by the Lagos State Governor on the military to deal ruthlessly with the poor motorbike operators wherever they are seen in the restricted areas.

JAF called for system change, accusing Governor Babatunde Fashola of militarizing the State and stressing that it took a lot of civil struggle to rid governance in Nigeria of the military.

Other civil society groups at the symposium include Community Network Alliance [COMNET], Moshood Abiola Vanguard for Democracy [MAVD] and Social Workers Link.

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Okada accident is alarming

i recently came across the accident statistics where about 107 okada riders and /or their passengers lost their lives in 2 years in Lagos. This is alarming. Do this group want us to be losing lives every moment and want the govt to fold his arm. This is craziness. They need to have a rethink.

I have lost respect for Labour Union

If Labour can be causing unnecessary uproar like this okada issue, then they are just becoming perpetrators of unrest in Lagos. Okada was banned in Abuja and Port-Harcourt. The governor in Lagos restricted Okada to certain routes. We all now the menace Okada is causing on major roads. The traffic on these major roads is becoming worse because of the numerous (thousands) of okada on the major roads. Okada operators still have millions of the feeder roads to operate on. Why are those not enough for them?
We all know the reason for this noise - It is bcs Tinubu and ACN have been using JAF and thugs from the NURTW for his election and other devlish purposes, now these transporters believe since they have been there for Tinubu they have the rights to anything and evrything they want. It should not be that way. Okada should go.

you are very right so we have

you are very right so we have to protest even when the idea is good. Labour have lost my respect since they are just like politician also . Fashola should continue NO PAIN NO GAIN


Where are all these activists when okada was banned in Abuja, P/Harcourt etc? Okada was not banned in Lagos but restricted to certain routes. How many of Fashina's relatives are riding okadas in Lagos? Is the restriction of Okada on certain routes the liberty to vandalize BRT buses? There has never been anywhere in the civilized society where government will allow its citizens to continue to commit suicide. These activists should go to Abuja and protest against massive corruption in Jonathan's administration while the country is sliding back to the stone age.

Okada riders has gone for GOOD

We the people said we don't want any Okada in Lagos so this is not just about useless FASHOLA or any coward labour union who has nothing to offer than confusion.

Every man want government to come and fuck his wife for him, before the coming of okada we have been living and walking.

Any man that want okada to come back MUST DIE in Jesus Name Amen.


I agree with the ban. As a matter of fact I believe it should have been done years ago. I never like the idea of motorbikes as a form of public transportation in any city in Nigeria, but that is another story. Let me state here that while I agree with the ban, I am totally against the military being used to enforce it. Nigeria army should never be used as a law enforecment alternative in a civilian Government, period. The army belongs in the barracks except when used to fight terrorists as is the case in the North. Even then their role should be limited. Maybe Lagos state would have had enough police officers to enforce their laws if they weren't being used as errand boys and personal bodyguards by these worthless politicians.


Okada was not banned completely but on certain routes which are supposedly highways. It is for the safety of the okada riders and commuters. Imagine okada on Ikorodu road. Only people who have not witnessed or experienced the daily wanton loss of life will be proponents of this okada business. Sometimes I tend to believe that these activists are for rent because some of their demands are ridiculous to say the least. In Nigeria, you make the law and then compliance follows. We should have known that by now. Remove oil subsidy and refineries will be built even by private oil majors but Occupy Nigeria said NO, build refineries before removing oil subsidy. 2012 has ended the oil cabal will never let refineries work here. Common sense no dey naija!!

okada ban

Nigerians! There s no output without work so as there s no good governance without compromise....every mega cities in the world u see people trekkin, if nigerians can do it in london and newyork y not in lagos...we just seem to hear our own voices BRF carry go joor

I can see you guys are fools.

I can see you guys are fools. In the 21st century, other countries have social security numbers, they provide for their citizen not take from them with no means to cope, the umemployed are paid, think with your head and not your dick which goes with all kinds of feelings to act.

May you soon have no other

May you soon have no other option dan become an okada rider. I can see u dont even care about the citizen of this countries. Shows the kind of dog you are really.

Your a fool to compare london

Your a fool to compare london and UK. Tell that to the child whose father depends on that and would not be given support for filing for unemployment as it is done in the UK, as i can see u dont even know anytin about the state apart from d tins u see in a movie.

Country is hard but I believe

Country is hard but I believe that education should be more encouraged. Some folks have found okada riding an easier avenue to retire to even at a very early stage in their lives. Many okada guys can do better. If there's no okada, I believe government will meet the needs with time. Let's clean up a bit.

Am so disappointed in all the

Am so disappointed in all the civil right activists involved in this sham of a lecture or protest, esp Dipo Fashina. Why would the Okada riders staging protest? Was it the govt that gave them the job in the first place? Please, we should be serious minded. No to Okada on our major highways. What I expected this so called attention seekers is to pressurise the govt in providing appropriate transport system. Gov Fashola, for this I am in full support of your actions. May you have the political will to stand to the end. God bless Nigeria.


Dipo Fashina, should support the banning of okada and not against it because we need a change.

Whats wrong with Dipo Fashina and his JAF

Labour should be protesting the non availability of Petrol and the corruption in the Petroleum sector and niot dabbling into things that dont concern them. Because Lagos is the commercial capital of Nigeria doesnt mean every Tom, Dick and Harry from as far away as Burkina Faso, Mali etc should come and make life difficult for other residents of Lagos. Why dont you go to Abuja and protest the banning of Okada. Should we wait for a terrorist attack on say Mainland bridge before we ban these guys? Same thing with Makoko, Human rights complained that the Government was oppresing the poor. You guys should realise that you do not have the information that the govt deliberate on before making decisions. Have you ever tried crossing the major streets before the ban? Did you ever notice the 'occupation of Ikeja' by these Okada riders? Dipo Fashina and his JAF should go get a job. The tax paying citizens of Lagos State welcome the change

Ban on Okada riders by LASG

It is surprising to me when I see people like Bamidele Aturu taking LASG to court whenever Okada riders and their nuances are being put in proper perspective by Lagos state Govt. The reason I am shocked and amazed is the fact that these same Okada riders were banned in Owerri, PH, Abuja metropolis, only yesterday in Warri yet there was no response of any sort from Bamidele Aturu and his group of protesters.Is it that they are enjoying the publicity in lagos or that the Okada riders in other states are not important to them. The ban on okada riders is welcome devt to me, although I feel that some the roads need not to be included in the ban.The implementation should be total as well because I still see Okada riders on the banned highways.

JAF and Labour Union are right

JAF and Labour Union and people like us are not against sanitizing the state. The problem is the Lagos state government are going about this law, the brutality and draconia nature of the law. Government failed to put alternative measures in place. The government is so lazy that they cant create job even the enabling environment is not there and the one citizen create for themselve you now ban it, its unfortunate.

Our leaders are quick to

Our leaders are quick to place a burden on the people while neglecting their role and responsibility.
Where are the alternatives to Okada. Fashola should first fix the road, provide rail system and good and functional bus system, and interest free loan for civil servants to buy car. Our leaders are quick to collect where they give nothing. They are fast to point to developed world when it come citizens responsibility but fail to learn and take examples from the same place when their own responsibilty.

Am Ashamed

Should human right groups protest what is not right? Is motor bike be used for commercial transportation? Should it have been allowed in the first place and must we continue to allow it to thrive. Our train system has remained "LOCOMOTIVE". Present trains are high speed yet we keep talking of mass movement without taking the right steps to put in place a befitting train system. In this century we are still using timed traffic lights instead of the more capacity optimizing loop system. We encourage what is right and take up arms each time someone somewhere decides to do the right thing.
Civil groups should be ashamed of their selves

Point of correction: okada

Point of correction: okada was NOT banned in Lagos but restricted to designated routes. Nothing bad in that.....those riders had it coming with their reckless driving and sendg many to untimely deaths....not forgetting the use of okada to pertuate crimes. Pox I like the restriction. In fact am lookg forward to an outright ban.
It's the draconian traffic law that sets my teeth on edge. The prescribed punishments for some of those offences are blatantly cruel and beyond overkill. That is what these groups should be protesting. Imagine not being allowed to drink even water while driving, that's a big NO NO.

Okada riding is not an occupation.

Fasola invited trouble by not banning okada outright. The demerits of allowing okada in your environment far outweighs the merits. Okada riding causes fatal accidents, encourages criminal activities including armed robbery, assassinations, bag snatching etc. Go to states where these miscreants are prohibited and you notice a drastic reduction in accidents and crime. To say that the only source of feeding for a youngman is okada rid is bumkum. Even cross river and akwa ibom the introduced okada riding have all banned it in the cities.

Okada ban in lagos.

This is not the first time workers union will save the poor masses from these oppresive governors.look at the situation, no jobs, no good education but plenty retrenchment, influation.Must lagos become london in a day? Cant we think of our home grown solution?

Walking is a recommended

Walking is a recommended exercise for healthy living. If one woman died in the process of taking a walk to the bus stop that is quite unforutnate but we all know cearly that so many Lagosians loose their lives in okada accidents daily. We should support Lagos state govt for banning okada on certian roads, particularly Highways in Lagos, the risk is too high. I don't think uncle Aturu encourages his children to ride okada on Ikorodu or third mainland bridge. Please let us support Fashola on this issue.

RE: What's wrong with Dipo Fashina and his JAF

The 2nd commentator titled "What's wrong with Dipo Fashina and his JAF" should please register yourself, so you do not hid behind 'Anonymous name'.

Meanwhile as " Lagos is the commercial capital of Nigeria just as London is to UK, New York is to USA, Sydney is to Australia etc", should you not also expect Lagos to have good and well managed road networks, good and functional healthcare service system, clean, safe and secured environment, clean and running water system, uninterrupted electricity, etc? Shouldn't there be consultation with the labour organisations before implementing laws and acts that affect the labour forces?

thinking like a 21st century

thinking like a 21st century person means you must provides those "alternatives" first before banning okada!


Jingo my lecturer, you still dey this aluta business???

putting the cart b4 the horse

For the fools and sycophants that support this misplaced law, what did Fashola put on the ground as a feasible alternative b4 the ban? FYI, Okada isn't good but there's no reasonable alternative now to cope with the excess population. A woman with heart disease slumped and died last week while repeatedly trekking the distance that shld bring her to the nearest Keke/Bus route (a route that Okada used to cover for her). Maybe she shld have been ur mom or relative. See the crowd of people trekking to bus stops now everyday. The available buses & Keke are not coping at all with the new crowd. People are really suffering now! Black world & with dark hearts !!!


In his usual style of late, the Lagos State Governor is disposing of Okada boys. We're they not part of his foot soldiers when he was canvassing for votes? Same for Makoko community etc. they are all now dispensable. When banned in Abuja, Okada migrated in droves to Lagos and the then Governor Tinubu welcome them with open arms, declaring them his constituency. Governor Fashola was very much in that government as Chief of Staff, so he continued where 'Oga' left. Now they are no more useful, dump Okada - 'Eko Wenjele' Carry Go!


Lagos State government, like other state governments don't allow Local Govt get their full allocation from federal government. The result is Local Govts cannot perform their functions effectively due to lack of money. Feeder roads in Lagos State are mostly in sorry state, why not when the State that denies local authorities their right share of federal allocation concentrates on main roads many of which are federal. The same state government now banishes Okada to the dilapidated side roads which it has deliberately neglected with impunity and they claim that is government of progressives! Secondly, why would a government headed by a senior legal luminary impound vehicles and destroy them in current economic climes - anti-people 'progressives'. Mshew

Shameless NLC

With all the money they are collecting from members, the offices of the labour union ilooks like a motor park. Shameless people.

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