By Godfrey Bivbere & Oko Ebuka
The Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, LASTMA, has made a seizure of over 120 vehicles disrupting traffic rules on roads leading to Apapa ports and its axis.
According to the general manager of the agency, Mr Wale Musa, those vehicles apprehended didn’t comply with directives of the Federal Government in the effort to restore normalcy and decongest the entire roads connecting to Apapa port.
“We have apprehended over 120 vehicles that did not comply with our directives and that’s because we didn’t want to enforce fully, we just have partial enforcement, that’s why 120 vehicles were impounded.”
Musa, who disclosed this to Vanguard Maritime Report, during a press briefing by the presidential task force team on the immediate clearing up of the Apapa gridlock and the restoration of law and order to Apapa and its environs, said that the agency is fully prepared for the challenge in the evacuation of trucks on the roads. He also urged the truck union members to comply and respect the law and order.
“I want to assure the public that we are on the ground, our boys are ready for the challenge, and I am also warning the union to tell their members that they should not test our will because we are ready. You might not see us but we are there because we normally work at night when nobody knows that we are working. I equally appreciate the effort of the union because we have a lot of voluntary compliance.”
In his reaction to this, general coordinator, Council of Maritime Truck Union Association, COMTUA, who is also the general manager operations, Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, Mr Stephen Okafor, commended efforts of the task team especially in ending the extortions going on in the port. He also pledged the union’s support in the on-going exercise.
“Since we are not on the payroll of any government, therefore, I must say the truth, we have been in pain for so long. We petitioned the federal government through the previous task force committees but to no avail because of the huge extortions.
“But our happiness today is that the government has involved the union in what is happening now which never happened before. We are glad and will fully support the government in achieving the aim of this exercise until it is actualized.”
He also tasked the Police to arrest any union member altering government laws and order in the axis.
“Any person claiming to be a member of this union who is going contrary to the government directives should be arrested by the Police because, since the set up of this team, no union member has said anything about extortion. We are now fully relaxing and resting in our businesses”, he concluded.
Also, vice chairman of the presidential task team on the Apapa gridlock and, Mr Kayode Opeifa thanked the Lagos State Government on their support by releasing the full potentials of LASTMA which will help in achieving the plans as soon as possible.
“The Lagos State Government has graciously released the full potentials of LASTMA, bound by an Executive Order by the governor himself to make sure all the plans will be achieved in earnest”, Opeifa added.