Following the ban on Okada in some major parts of Lagos State the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG has stated that the action of the Lagos State government is targeted toward Northern operators and it is completely unacceptable.
This was reportedly disclosed in a statement by the CNG Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman.
According to him, “We note that of recent, State governments in the South have resorted to imposing and enforcing controversial, unfriendly and damaging legislation that effectively curtail the right to freedom of movement of the northern people living in their midst.”
He noted that, “More disturbing is that like in the current case of Lagos, the enforcers of these discriminatory laws almost all the time fail to draw the decent distinction between the northerner as citizen, or commercial motorcycling as an occupation, from criminality.”
He added that, “To the makers of these laws and their formal and informal enforcers, it matters little that just because some Okada riders commit certain breaches does not make all motorcyclists criminals.”
Suleiman maintained that, “This brutal encroachment by the Lagos State government on the right of northerners to freedom of movement, freedom of association and other fundamental human right safeguards, is eroding the consciousness that for decades, different tribes in Nigeria have been accommodated and tolerated in the North, without their hosts enacting discriminatory laws specifically to intimidate, harass and endanger them, their families, their properties or their trades.”
He said that, “Notwithstanding the hard evidences of the notoriety of these settlers in the perpetration, commission, spread and promotion of various crimes and antisocial behaviours within their host communities, the North has never attempted to discriminate or label them beyond seeking solutions through legitimate and civil interventions.”
He remarked that, “No matter through which lenses we look, therefore, we only see in this fast-phased agenda a manifestation of an ignoble system that tends to deploy a warped application of the law solely to endanger northerners living and doing legitimate businesses in Lagos which is unacceptable.”
He advised that, “Rather than callously destroying the motorbikes which are valuable assets to the northern operators, it would have been more decent and more closely acceptable if the Lagos government had just ordered a regulated evacuation of the unwanted northerners and their assets back home.”