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Police say normalcy returns to Lekki Phase 1 after protest by Okada riders

07 May 2015, 08:00

Lagos - The Lagos State Police Command said on Wednesday that it had quelled the protest by commercial motorcyclists, otherwise called "Okada riders" at Lekki Phase I in Lagos.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Kenneth Nwosu, revealed that the force, on getting the report, deployed its men to quell the demonstration.

Nwosu said that normalcy had returned to the area and that people were now safe to go about their businesses.

The demonstration, which began around 2 p.m., had paralysed commercial activities at the area.

The demonstration started when the residents of the area said they no longer needed the services of the commercial motorcyclists.

According to an eyewitness, the angry Okada riders took to the streets, barricading the Lekki/Ikoyi bridge.

He said that they wielded machetes and other dangerous weapons, thereby preventing vehicular movement into and out of the area.

There are also reports that gunshots were heard but it was not clear if it was from the security officials or the Okada riders.

Also read: Nigerian workers protest against Chinese firm

Nwosu, who confirmed the incident, added that policemen had put the situation under control.

According to him, it's a demonstration by Okada men who decided to take the law into their hands.

"There is a demonstration by some members of the Okada riders group after the Lekki Residents Association said they don't want Okada to operate in their neighbourhood.

"The association said they only want tricycles to operate there as using commercial motorcycles encouraged criminality there.

"The Okada riders then decided to breach the peace of the neighbourhood and our men had to pick them up.

"People should learn to be lawful; you can't compel a particular set of people to tow a particular line which they don't like.

"They have said they don't want Okada in their neighbourhood, then they should go to another neighbourhood where Okada is accepted," Nwosu said.

The PPRO added that policemen were already at the scene to make sure everyone went about his or her business peacefully.


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