Politics

The Road Owners and the Tenants

The movie titled “the road owners and the tenant” is an unending play on Nigerian roads. The basic differences in most states are the actors. For example, in Lagos State, the major actors are the motorcycle riders, hawkers and the car owners. In Edo State it is the Hawkers, Beggars and the car owners.

The high accident rate caused by okada riders on express roads can only be viewed as a reoccurring death traps. This problem exists in many cities in Nigeria. Some States have banned the use of motorcycles for commercial transportation purpose while others have banned their movement on express roads. Motorcycle riders are required to wear helmets why plying the roads. This requirement is not enforced for the passengers they carry. One begins to wonder if the life of the passenger is less important than the okada man. Motorcycles are also used for theft on the street especially in places with traffic congestion. This problem is rampant in cities with a large population.

With the conclusion of the general election, Lagos State has renewed its effort to keep motorcycle operators from restricted routes by impounding their motorcycles. This renewed effort, according to an officer in Ikeja, is as a result of citizen complaint about hoodlums snatching people’s bags and phones with Okadas. Many who have lost their bikes during the recent raids complained that the government is making life difficult for them and their families by taking away their only source of livelihood. This renewed invigoration has also affected the street hawkers. The areas affected include Oshodi, Ikeja, Iyana Ipaja, Cele Express amongst others.

In Edo State, commercial motorcycles are non-existent in the city of Benin. The major cause of concern for vehicle owners is the hawkers and the beggars. These people are not only aggressive in their trade but also constitute a security risk. Some of them boldly force people to either purchase their goods or give them money by hitting the cars of road users while others steal from car owners who are stuck in traffic congestion.

One can only begin to wonder who the road owners and who the tenant is in this movie. Is it the vehicle owners or pedestals (the taxpayers), or the beggars, or the hawkers?

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