By Esther Onyegbula & Umeh Maureen
LAGOS—Commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada, yesterday, barricaded the Mile two end of Oshodi/Apapa protesting the killing of their colleague by tanker driver, causing a heavy gridlock for several hours.
Reports said the unidentified motorcyclist was attempting to carry his bike from the service lane (Custom side) of the expressway to the other side of the expressway to run against traffic because of the traffic congestion when he lost balance and fell under the tyre of an oncoming truck. He was instantly crushed to death.
Just immediately, his colleagues armed with dangerous weapons, barricaded the expressway and set the truck ablaze.
Similarly, motorists trapped in the ensuing melee, had their windscreens shattered.
The resultant gridlock forced commuters to trek long distances to board buses to their respective destinations.
Efforts by security operatives to pacify the irate protesters failed as they descended on the truck driver.
It took combined efforts by team of naval personnel and officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, to rescue the truck driver from being lynched by the protesters.
An eye witness who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Vanguard on arrival at the scene that: “The truck driver was whisked to the premises of the FRSC at Berger, while the security operatives battled to prevent an escalation of the crisis”.
Mr. B.O Chigbo, Acting Head of Operation the FRSC (Berger), told Vanguard that the Okada rider was crushed by the trailer when he mistakenly ran in front of the vehicle.
He said, “At about 11 am, when we were holding our usual official meeting, we heard the people shouting and we later saw some of our men there. We rushed to know what exactly was going on and we found out that it was an accident involving an Okada rider who was driving one way and tried to jump the drainage to the other side. Unknown to the oncoming trailer driver, the commercial cyclist fell and the back tyre of the vehicle and was crushed.”