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FACT CHECK: Did Sanwo-Olu promise to end Apapa gridlock in 60 days? VIDEO

Victor Ogunyinka

There has been a debate as to whether the governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, categorically said he would decongest Apapa in 60 days.

Sanwo-Olu, Apapa

A report, on major media, on May 19, had suggested that Sanwo-Olu said he was going to decongest the Oshodi-Apapa road, but exactly a month after, it was widely reported that the governor made a U-turn on his initial promise.

According to a medium, Sanwo-Olu made the promise during an interactive session with his classmates at the Executive Master of Business Administration class, University of Lagos, 1998/2000 set.

The medium quoted the governor to have said: “The Apapa trailer issue; it’s a campaign issue; it’s very serious; I’m going to take it very seriously.

“I believe that it is something that we are going to solve in the first 60 days of our government. Whatever is going to be required of us, we will take them out.

“There is a lot of politics being played around there. But no, it cannot be the way we’ll continue to live. We cannot continue to give excuses.”

On 23 May 2019, Vanguard reported Sanwo-Olu’s first three months strategic plans where he highlighted his top priorities and of course, the Apapa road was featured in that report.

“Also, the solution on Apapa gridlock will be given priority and believing that we would have solved it. But sustenance will be the issue if we are not careful. That you will not see them coming in and out but on a sustainable basis, it will cost us some money to put onboard. These are things we hope to achieve…”

Interestingly, Sanwo-Olu has found social media as a good voice to talk about things around his government and he indeed talked about the Apapa road after his visit barely 24 hours after his inauguration, but there was nowhere he mentioned 60 days solutions in the same sentence with Apapa gridlock.

It was first a retweet to a tweet from his deputy governor where he talked about “first-hand information on efforts to resolve waste management.:

Sanwo-Olu then tweeted: “The solution to the traffic caused by the trailers is a physical capacity and technological one. I inspected a trailer park which, on completion, will keep the trailers off the road & the implementation of a well-enforced on-call system will allow for proper vehicular movement.”

VERDICT: Did Sanwo-Olu put a timeline on decongesting Apapa?

With two different quotes from two different events from the governor on his intention on Apapa road, it turns out that he spoke more about “prioritising” and “review” of the work done on the road in 60 days.

The governor said there are major gridlocks that have been identified; “Some are short, to medium, to long term. The first 60 days is to solve some that are low hanging and there are about 20 to 22 of them. And within the first 100 days, I will tackle the gridlock in Apapa; I will need to clear off all the traffic and the trailers on Apapa, I will make sure that is a nightmare and we don’t see that again,” Sanwo-Olu said during the governorship debate on Channels TV.


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