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Lagos Okada Ban: Falana Blames Buhari For Inconvenience

Senior lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) says President Muhammadu Buhari is responsible for the hardship resulting from the restriction on commercial motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles’ operations in parts of Lagos state.

Concise News reports that the state government commenced the enforcement of the extant Transport Sector Reform Law 2020 on February 1.

The law restricts the operation of motorcycles in some local government areas, local council development areas, highways, bridges and roads.

Speaking at the 14th Annual Beko Ransome-Kuti Memorial Lecture organised by the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights on Sunday, Falana recalled  how Buhari had in 1983, cancelled the $200m metro line contract signed by then governor of Lagos State, Lateef Jakande.

According o Falana, the cancellation of the contract by Buhari, while he was a military head of state, was responsible for the current hardship.

“We had paid $200m and there was a penalty that if the contract was cancelled, Nigeria would pay colossally. We were dragged to arbitration, I don’t remember the figure now, but we were fined. So, metro line, we don’t have; money we have lost and inconvenience has continued since then,” he said.

“So, we also have a right, if we are organised in a civilised manner, to demand from the Abuja people, ‘You must pay back the cost of that metro line that you cancelled; so that we can restore it.”

Speaking further, the activist recounted how Ransom-Kuti was arrested and locked up for six months in 1984 by Buhari because he demanded for improved healthcare for Nigerians.

Falana declared that Nigerian hospitals had become mortuaries under the President Buhari administration.

He said it was unfair that Buhari “always travels abroad for medical care while the generality of Nigerians have no other choice but to go to Nigerian hospitals that have become mortuaries.”

“When this same President, as a military Head of State, came in 1984, December 31, and said our hospitals had been reduced to consulting clinics; it was a confirmation of the struggle of the Nigerian doctors. So, Beko and others thought he meant well and after six months, there was no improvement, they went on strike that paralysed the medical sector.”

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