There was pandemonium at the Rainbow area of Mile 2, Lagos, as Commercial motorcycle riders (Okada) clashed with the Lagos State Taskforce.
Many people were injured and property worth several million were destroyed during the clash.
Among the injured were a paramilitary officer attached to Taskforce, Ganiyu Mustapha, a pregnant woman, and many other victims who were either running for safety or were hit by rampaging Okada riders.
A victim, Mathew Osemene, said it was like war when the Okada riders engaged the officials of the Taskforce:
” I wanted to board Okada from Rainbow to FESTAC side when all of sudden I saw over I000 Okada riders driving dangerously. I was hearing gunshots, I thought that #EndSARS wahala had started. As I was running for cover, I was hit by an Okada. I am over 50, tell me how my broken legs will heal. Many people were also injured as well. We have been facing hell from the hands of the Okada riders who rob us always. They used to rob us early in the morning and at night”.
However, the agency said 74 motorcycles were impounded.
The agency, therefore, has called on Lagos State indigenes to join hands with it to salvage the state from the menace of hoodlums who operate as commercial motorcycle operators (Okada ).
Speaking on the position of the agency on the Okada rider who have taken over the Rainbow bus stop, Head, Public Affairs Unit, of the Taskforce, Adebayo Taofiq, said :
“Yes, the operatives of the agency based on series of complaints from the public about activities of Okada riders using their bikes to rob them of their valuables and plying restricted routes as well went out to the area for Enforcement.
“After impounding about 74 Okada caught plying one-way and those operating on highway, Okada riders mobilised themselves and attacked officers of the agency
“They damaged beyond repairs two of our vehicles with one of our trucks. A Paramilitary officer attached to the agency (Ganiyu Mustapha) was wounded with broken bottles and Cutlass because he mistakenly ran into the mob.
“Since the EndSARS protest motorists including Okada riders operate with impunity thereby causing serious traffic gridlock across the State.
“We had a stakeholder meeting with Okada leaders and they made us understand that all those flagrantly disobeying the laws are not responsible for any associations in Lagos.
“We must all join hands together to salvage the State from the hands of these notorious criminals who use Okada to perpetuate evil to the public”.