The Lagos State Taskforce has launched an intense clampdown on the operation of commercial motorcyclists on the Lekki axis of Lagos State, Nigeria. 

Driving the news 
Reports say that this action by the State task force is in connection with the outrage originating from the gruesome killing of a young man by suspected motorcyclists around Admiralty area of Lekki, Lagos State. 

  • The Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on News Media, Jubril Gawat, in a tweet said that the task force had so far arrested 123 commercial motorcyclists. 

Brief background to the story 
Few days ago, a sound engineer, Sunday David was burnt to death when a mob alleged to be commercial motorcyclists engaged the former in a fight over the sum of N100. Reports say that the victim and his friend boarded the bike after closing off their job at a nightclub. This incident aggravated into a fully blown mob attack, with the suspected bikers carrying all sorts of weapons. 

State of play 
The Lagos State Government has over the last few years launched several raids against commercial motorcycles in the megacity. 

  • In 2010, the Babatunde Fashola led administration instituted the 2012 Lagos Traffic law, which banned the driving of motorcycles on 475 out of 9100 roads in Lagos State due to the high rates of death and bike related injury recorded at that time.
  • The next administration, Akinwunmi Ambode, further banned the operation of bikes and Keke in six LGAs and nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
  • However, all these plots and laws by the state government always seemed to lose intensity after a few months of implementation. 

The big picture
The menace of these commercial motorcyclists started Lagos residents sought a faster and easier means of transportation following the continuous heavy flow of traffic, inaccessible roads by commercial buses and card and high standards of living in the state. Therefore, unless the root cause of the use of commercial motorcycles is addressed in the megacity, the menace of motorcyclists would be difficult to entirely clear out. 

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