The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) Lagos State Chapter condemns in strongest terms the recent upsurge of repression of Okada (motorcycle) riders in Lagos State. The party notes in particular the two recent incidents of Ogba and Lekki where frustrated Okada riders clashed with police officers attached to security agencies, the Lagos State Taskforce and the Rapid Response Squad.
We are of the firm view that instead of utilising repressive means to drive out poor and innocent Nigerians who have resorted to Okada driving in the face of unemployment, the Lagos State Government should build industries and create jobs on a massive scale.
However, we are afraid that instead of rethinking its strategies, Lagos State Government is planning a major clampdown on Okada riders. We are seized of the statement credited to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu at the recently held Lagos State Security Summit to the effect that in view of the overwhelming state of insecurity in the country and to avert any such occurrence in Lagos State, it will commence an aggressive clampdown on Okada riders. We are of the view that this is only a crude approach of addressing the problem of insecurity and also counterproductive. We are also seized of the plans to bring in small buses to replace motorcycles on Lagos roads, until this is achieved alongside integrated transport system including basic infrastructure, okada riding will remain with us.
We hold that the same challenges that beleaguer public transportation will continue when the small buses become operational.
We hold that as long as mass unemployment and deep poverty persists, individual citizens will resort to self-created means of survival to get means of livelihood for themselves. We hold the anti-poor policies of the All Progressives Congress-led Government both at the National and State levels as well as past bourgeois governments as being responsible for the sickening state of mass unemployment and economic misery.
We urge the mass of working people in Lagos State and in the country not to invest hopes in any party of the oppressors, be they People’s Democratic Party (PDP) or the All Progressives Congress (APC) and others but work towards building their own independent initiative.
We of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) represents a major milestone in this direction. We stand for a public works programme towards providing adequate infrastructure and building of industries that put every employable person to work in order to wipe out mass unemployment. We hold that this is the only way to end insecurity.
As the local government elections in Lagos State nears, we call on all workers, artisans, transporters, students and youth to join us, vote for us (SPN candidates ) in order to build a genuine working people’s political alternative to the current rottenness.
Comrade Rufus Olusesan Chairperson
Shoyombo Monsuru Publicity Secretary