Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has justified his recent arrest of a soldier who was caught riding a commercial motorcycle against traffic along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
The governor said the incident was a demonstration of his commitment to enforcing the rule of law and ensuring orderliness in the state.
Sanwo-Olu made this known while speaking today at the Lagos State Government 2024 Annual Thanksgiving Service at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Race Course, Lagos.
He said that he had the constitutional authority to implement the laws passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly and the Judiciary.
He said, “It has to be enforceable laws. In every where in the world, law and order is one thing that we cannot compromise. And that’s why it’s an opportunity again for us to mention that all applicable laws that we have in Lagos, that the Lagos State House of Assembly working with the Judiciary has given us powers to implement, we have to implement them.
“We have to live in an orderly society. We have to live in a society that understands and appreciates the rule of law and ensure that your rights stops where another person’s rights begins and that we need to continue to collocate and understand and appreciate that we are all co-sojourners in the conversation of Lagos and ensure that everything that has to do with our laws in Lagos will be fully implemented. So, I’m enjoining all of you to please obey our laws, pay your taxes regularly.”
Recall that, last week, the governor while driving on the Lagos-Badagry expressway found certain motorcyclists plying the road in a wrong direction, including a soldier who was later identified as a lance corporal in the Nigerian Army.
However, the governor had said that the soldier’s excuse that he was an army officer was not acceptable.
Sanwo-Olu’s arrest of the soldier and other commercial motorcycle riders, popularly known as okada, on Tuesday last week had gone viral on social media, with many Nigerians commending him for his courage and decisiveness.
In the video, Sanwo-Olu was heard saying, “Can you imagine this one telling me that he is a soldier? Well, that is the more reason you will be locked up.”
The governor had halted his convoy and pursued the offenders who were plying one-way along the expressway. Some of the riders had abandoned their motorcycles and passengers to escape arrest, but the governor’s team managed to apprehend five of them.
The Lagos State Government had in June 2023 reiterated that the ban on commercial motorcycles in 10 Local Government Areas and 15 Local Council Development Areas in the metropolis persists. The government had said that the ban was in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law, 2018, and that anyone caught violating it would be liable to three years in prison, with their motorcycles impounded and crushed in the public view.