Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Nigerians are killing and maiming themselves all in the name of making a living. The menace of "Okada riders on Lagos roads are enough to sicken the hearts. The State Government claims the effort to regulate the activities of 'Okada' riders on Lagos roads is working.

Is it really working? An " Okada rider was on a last leg of dropping his passenger, looked back to negotiate a corner, lost control and on a head-on-collision completely lost his right arm that was completely severed from his body. He was taken to Lagos University Hospital, not by paramedics or ambulance but by other "Okada' riders who separately transported his arm and his body to the hospital.

Another Okada rider lost control on a narrow crowded street, ran into a 47 year old lady standing in front of her house; instantaneously, the Okada man , without a head helmet died; killed an innocent bystander and injured two more pedestrians on the same side of the road.

My colleagues at home are claiming that the orthopedic beds in the hospitals are almost out of reach to other patients after being occupied by injured Okada riders, the passengers and their victims.

On a Sunday afternoon, a lady and her grown-up daughter returning from a church service, flagged down an Okada for a ten -block ride back home; two blocks to their destination, a truck, trying to avoid collision ran into them, both mother and daughter were almost thrown into the opposite traffic. They eventually ended up in a near hospital with several stitches on their heads and for closing other lacerations.

When will these stop? A very serious, unending accidents due to the menace of Okada riders or operators are now issues to be taken up by all concerned citizens. What does it really take to construct roads and add more buses for commuters? "Cry my beloved Country". It reminds me of my last trip to Nigeria, I was seeking for a lawyer's advice to take three states , Lagos, Ogun and Oyo , joined with the Federal Government of Nigerian, to court for them to explain why Lagos- Ibadan highway remained the way it was and continued to claim lives young and old, rich and the poor over many decades.

Interstate roads are the responsibility of the State. When the Federal Government shies away from taking responsibility, the State moves in to fill the void and constitutionally demand for money expended for federal responsibility.

Until we all can come to terms with civilized games of politics, activism, telling truth to power, organizing to file papers in Court and forming pressure groups, will life be better for younger generation.

Written by Dr. O. R. Almaroof.

1 comment:

  1. May Allah reward you. Your article is paying off. Lagos Edo E
    ugu states have banned okada. Many would follow. It is shameless and disgusting. tx