For about a week now, Lagosians have been lamenting over the ban of motorcycles and tricycles also know as ‘Okada and Keke’ from transiting the road in six local government areas and nine local council development areas of Lagos State.
The ban which was appended by the Governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has been effective since February 1, 2020.
The news of the Okada and Keke ban was welcomed with shock and indignation by many Lagosians who up till today are still seeking several means to avert the unfair treatment. Topping the food chain of the outcry, are Nigerians on Twitter repeatedly using the hashtags #OTrek #OkadaBan #LagosIsWalking to bemoan the ban.
Like the saying ‘it has to be bad for someone, for it to be good for you’… despite several negative reactions concerning the ban, a group of hustlers have found an opportunity to milk some good cash into their accounts.
Let’s take a look at those who will be smiling to the bank because of the #OkadaBan
Uber And Bolt Drivers:
You might want to call it exploiting the people’s sorry condition, but these group of hustlers are happy to witness Christmas in February.
The coming of motorcycle-hailing services ORide (2019) and Gokada(2018) apportioned a large quota death on the profit ratio of Uber and Bolt drivers. Why book a cab for a pricy sum when you can get to the same destination half the price, and get there even faster? Why book a cab when there is a hundred and one percent chance you’ll end up in traffic? And with the bonus offered by ORide most Fridays, where any destination cost only N10, it might be fair to say the Uber and Bolt drivers have endured too long.
Now, check out their price list… It feels like daylight robbery perpetrated by a gang of robbers in corporate style.
Even if everyone pretends to be compassionate about the ban, not this group!
“Iyana Oworo! Iyana Oworo! Wole! Wole!”… you can hear the bus conductor chanting. But my dear, this is the time to reflect on the popular aphorism ‘Look Before you leap’, otherwise you might end up getting thrown out of a moving vehicle.
Don’t assume it’s like the old, ask for the bus fare before you rush in. It’s either multiplied by two or close. The most hilarious side to it is, that while you are busy debating with your conscience, the seats are already sold out…No VIP session on this one though, It’s like being transported on a moving generator as the majority of buses are rickety.
Private Car Owners:
Or should I say ‘Private thieves’? These ones are kindred of the proverbial sly fox. They appear compassionate but definitely are not left out of the jamboree. You’ll be dazed the moment they say “Oshodi is N400 o”.
“Good Lord! Even you too?”… that’s all you can say at the moment. And because their rides are cozier than the usual, you might just give in. Brace up! That bro is trying to cash out as much as he can, to most likely get a better car.
What Becomes The Fate Of The Larger Number:
There you go… a rundown of a few groups basking in the euphoria of the ban. While this is said, we must bear in mind that thousands of Okada and Marwa riders in Lagos state have lost their dominant source of income.
During a protest at the Lagos House of Assembly, Sandra Egbuna, a female Okada rider said “This was what I used to train myself for my National Diploma. I am currently on industrial attachment with Gokada and by next year, I will start my Higher National Diploma.
“If the government bans us, I cannot go back to school. There is no hope for me. Some of my mates are involved in prostitution, but I chose to keep my dignity and work hard,” she said.
Although few days after the protest video went viral, Sandra was gifted a new car by Kokun Foundation to fuel her hustle, what becomes the fate of the larger number who are still flustered and upset their means of livelihood flushed out of Lagos state?