By Olasunkanmi Akoni
LAGOS—A violent clash was averted, yesterday, when officials of Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, engaged senior officials of the Lagos State Government in exchange of words over the indiscriminate parking of tankers, containerised and other articulated vehicles close to the Apapa Port and its environs.
Similarly, following series of multiple road accidents caused by reckless and non adherence to safety precaution, leading to loss of lives and destruction of property, the state Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, has advised trailer drivers in the state to abide by all traffic laws, including proper display of C-Caution sign while parking by the road sides for the purposes of effecting repairs.
The exchange, which almost led to a fight, took place at the gate of NPA, when officials of the state government led by the state Commissioner for Transportation, Mr, Kayode Opeifa, along with Chairman Apapa Local Government Area, Mr. Ayodeji Joseph, were conducting on the spot inspection of the area to determine the causes of the daily heavy traffic in the axis with the aim of proffering permanent solutions to the worrisome situation.
The quick intervention of Opeifa, doused the already tensed situation, as he calmed state officials and members of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, who were already spoiling for a fight with NPA agents.
The inspection, ordered by the state governor, met brick wall when the state commissioner demanded to see the management of the port for a parley at the entrance of Apapa port.
While waiting for the representatives of the port management, a man, simply identified as David, asked the commissioner to stop the Television cameramen from recording the area or he will get them, including the commissioner arrested.
Opeifa appealed to the cameramen to stop recording, which they complied with immediately.
Meanwhile, the following exchanged took place.
Opeifa: “I am the commissioner for Transportation in Lagos State. We will like to see the port management on an official matter concerning the heavy presence of tanker vehicles parking on the highway”.
David: “You have no right to enter the port without permission from the management. Let me call some of the management staff to attend to you but you have to stop your cameramen from recording around this area which is prohibited. Any recording should be 100 metres away from here, NPA and if they don’t stop it now, I will get everybody arrested”.
At this point, state officials and some NARTO members, who felt the statement was an embarrassment to the commissioner charged at David, who was already been pushed around before the commissioner called them to order.