By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH
Lagos—The impression created by the Lagos state government that it had created a movement corridor on the Apapa-Osodi expressway for free traffic flow turned out to be a mere fluke Monday night.
Barely 24 hours after the marching order given by Governor Babatunde Fashola, to officials of the Lagos State Transport Management Agency, LASTMA, and the Task Force on Environmental offenses to ensure relief in the traffic situation, workers and businesses, suffered worse fate on Monday night.
The tankers and articulated trucks were not only back on the road, they took over all the lanes making it impossible for any kind of movement.
Even the Naval officials who threatened fire and brimstone to offending truck drivers were no where to be found and when contacted promised to effect a change but never surfaced.
The Commander NNS Beecroft, Commodore Emmanuel Uwadiae actually seemed to have forgotten his rave about importance of free traffic at the stretch to security.
Also, LASTMA official who leads the Mile Two gang, simply called Peter, when contacted gave an incoherent response about the agency’s failure.
For several months, motorists have been going through hectic times along the Apapa/Oshodi expressway, especially at Mile 2, due to the unending traffic gridlock caused by tanker drivers who queue endlessly for petroleum products, as well as the ongoing construction work being executed by the construction giant – Julius Berger Plc.
With the assurance provided by the Governor Fashola who had expressed hope that motorists would witness relief, following agreement by stakeholders to make changes within the week, there was hope of having smooth drive in the area.
However, residents of Kirikiri and staff of companies located around Berger yard and Mile-2 saw hell after Monday’s work as they were shut out from the road by the tanker drivers.
In early part of Monday, the traffic situation sort of improved with the efforts of the security operatives who manned the entire area and created a single corridor for other vehicles apart from the trailers on queue.
However, the story changed for the worse in the evening when security operatives abandoned their duty post with the few left collecting graft from some of the tanker drivers and other articulated vehicles which later disrupted the arrangements.
As at 7pm on Monday, commuters from Oshodi axis heading towards Apapa or Kirikiri were in completely halt
The situation got heady when the little space provided for cars to maneuver in order to link the main expressway was blocked by the trailers.
The situation made several people including staff of the Vanguard and other companies around the area sleep in their offices.
Reliefs only came early morning of Tuesday when the staff including Editors of Vanguard were able to squeeze their way out of the office as the cruel attitude of the tanker drivers persisted.