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LAGOS: 192 die from Okada accidents, says Commissioner of Police

•Reveals IPOB plans to attack state
•Discloses 24 Yoruba separatist groups under monitor

A TOTAL of 192 persons have died from motorcycles accidents from January till date, with 64 others suffering serious injuries, the State Commissioner for Police, Hakeem Odumosu has revealed.

He disclosed this at a Security Stakeholders Townhall Meeting held today by the state government.

According to Odumosu, the fatalities were from the 280 okada accidents recorded in the state.

The menace of commercial motorcyclist operators does not end with avoidable accidents, said the police boss.

He added that government’s good intention of providing additional means of land
transportation and creating jobs for the teeming unemployed youths, has been negated by the atrocities being perpetrated by the Okada operators in the state.

“This includes, the use of Okada as a veritable tool to commit crime and get away with it by hoodlums; disrespect to traffic rules and regulations; the Okada operators becoming nuisance and reckless on our roads, resulting into avoidable accidents with attendant consequences on human life.

“Okada accidents on our roads are mostly caused by recklessness and lawlessness of its riders. It is common sight in Lagos metropolis to see Okada operators ride recklessly on highways facing on coming road users,
especially during traffic peak periods.

“An ugly twist to all of these is that, anytime there is an accident caused by their reckless act, they (motorcyclists) often mobilise to traumatise the hapless motorists involved in the accident. They often times during this
careless act of theirs, mob their victims, create avenue for their colleagues and other social miscreants alike, to unleash terror and theft of valuable items in the vehicle of the victims and other sympathisers around.”

Odumosu disclosed that his command is taking steps to avert the consequences of the threat by IPOB to attack the state.

According to him, the threat of IPOB to attack soft targets in the state is equally being put on the radar of the command intelligence gathering and other security services. “Strategies are being put in place to neutralise their activities.”

Odumosu stated that his command has taken notice of agitators for Oodua Republic
by some Yoruba separatist groups and the threats to disrupt law and order in the state.
He, therefore, said 24 of such Yoruba separatist groups have been identified and being closely monitored.

“The command is using this medium to solicit for the support of all and sundry to be vigilant at all times and report any suspicious person or movement to security agencies. Let us adopt the slogan of “when you see something, say something.”

He said in order to sustain the fight against crimes and criminalities in the state, the command emplaced different proactive strategies, which includes, periodic intelligence led raids of criminal hideouts, convoy patrols of the nooks and crannies, including border points, establishment of pin-down points at strategic locations, synergy with other security agencies, community leaders and other stakeholders, while gun boats and back up patrol boats are daily
being deployed to cover the state waterways.

“With the implementation of the above and other strategies, it is gratifying to inform the gathering that, from 1st January, 2021 till date, the command has been able to bring down to the barest minimal, as all indices of serious crimes, like cultism, armed robbery, kidnapping, civil unrest, violent protests
and targeted attacks on government facilities by aggrieved groups have assumed a downward trend. While intermittent cases of such crimes recorded were diligently investigated with the suspects arrested and prosecuted accordingly,” Odumosu said.

Also, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the insecurity in the country is disturbing reason that apart from discussing frankly and decisively on what the collective response should be, as well as what role every stakeholder should be playing, the summit should ensure that everyone is duly carried along in the task of keeping the state safe, secure and peaceful.

“As the economic and commercial hub of Nigeria, the security of the state cannot be taken for granted. The state is not just home to the headquarters of the biggest companies in Nigeria, and to one of the largest stock exchanges in Africa, it is also the primary gateway for passengers and freight, in and out of Nigeria.

“As we speak there are several billions of dollars of investment ongoing in the state, in real estate, transportation, manufacturing, services, agriculture, and several other areas.

“Nigeria’s ability to reach its full economic and developmental potential will be severely constrained in the absence of guaranteed security of lives and property in the state.

In recent times, we have recorded a worrying trend of nefarious activities in the state; from kidnappings, armed robbery, cult clashes and violent assaults.”

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