By Bose Adelaja & Olasunkanmi Akoni
Many Lagos commuters and motorists had received with a great cheer recent reports of an agreement signed between the Lagos State government and the leadership of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, to evacuate oil tankers from the Mile Two/Berger axis of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway by May 3.
But Tuesday May 3 has come and gone, and the tankers and other articulated heavy-duty vehicles are still a common sight in the area just as the traffic jam associated with their presence.
Although the tankers were nowhere in sight on Monday which was a public holiday, they reappeared the following day in seeming defiance to the quit deadline their union leaders assured they would comply with.
By the early hours of Tuesday, the tanker drivers had taken over the service lane as they parked indiscriminately from Coconut Bus-stop to Mile-Two, causing serious traffic gridlock and a lot of inconvenience to other road users in the area.
The situation remained the same on Wednesday as more tankers and trucks took over sections of the the expressway, with traffic on standstill at Coconut, Warehouse and Tincan areas.
However, some of the drivers who were mostly from the Northern parts of the country said they were not aware of any order or notice for the to vacate the road. They told Vanguard Metro they were not party to any agreement signed between their leaders and government, adding that they would not vacate the area until they are provided with an alternative parking space.
One of the drivers Aliyu Mohammed, said his firm did not inform him about such agreement.
Some of the drivers said they slept on the road to await their turn from the Tincan Seaport. “Walahi, I have been here since yesterday, I am hearing it for the first time that Fashola asked us to vacate this place. My boss did not tell me anything and I don’t read newspapers. He came to Mile Two to campaign before the election and he did not tell us to vacate this place, I don’t think our boss is aware because he would have passed the information to us,’‘ he said.
‘’Where do they expect us to go? Has the government provided a place for us,’‘ asked Yuguda Ilya.