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The critics say the new law will target some of the poorest on the roadway — the motorcycle taxi drivers known as “okada” after a now-defunct airline, either for the their speed or for the smoke they spew, depending on whom you ask.

It’s dangerous, sometimes lethal work, but it can net up to $20 a day, 10 times what most people earn. Bike-riding jobs draw people from Nigeria’s north and from neighboring countries.

The new laws would ban okada riders from 11 highways, 41 bridges and more than 3,000 roads, according to information released by the state, and some believe it is an attempt to force the riders out of the already overcrowded city.

Dauda Iliyasini, an okada union representative, warns of dangerous consequences: “We are not beast,” he says, “but if they want us to become a beast, we will be a beast.”