…As presidential taskforce abandons Oshodi/Apapa expressway
By Evelyn Usman
Motorists plying the Apapa-Oshodi expressway, Lagos, went through the most harrowing experience of their lives, as they were trapped in traffic for the better part of the day.
The ever-busy expressway was overtaken by trucks, without consideration to other road users.
From all indication, it was obvious that the Presidential Task Force charged with the responsibility of easing the gridlock along the route had abandoned the post.
Rather, most of them were sighted at Jakande, Mile-Two, One and Otto Whaff bus-stops collecting tolls from defiant truck drivers who attempted to pave their ways into the Ports and tanks farms.
The torrential downpour also contributed to the gridlock, as flood covered the expressway, due to the absence of drainages.
As at 8 pm, some motorists, some of who were Vanguard staff, were still in the traffic.
Earlier, some passengers in commercial vehicles, were forced to alight and mount motorcycles which were the only alternative means of escaping the traffic, to their respective workplaces. Some of them were drenched by rain in the process.
However, commercial motorcyclists hijacked the opportunity to hike the fare.
It is no longer news that efforts by both the Federal and Lagos State governments to proffer solution to the perennial gridlock seem not to have yielded the desired result.
Some motorists who spoke with Vanguard blamed members of the presidential task force for the cause of the traffic.
One of them, Mr Uchendu Chuka, said, “they (presidential taskforce) are the ones indulging these truck drivers. If they stop collecting money from them and insist they maintain straight line, sanity will return to the expressway. But if they don’t, the situation will remain like this”.
Another motorist, John Haruna said; “Government is the cause of this suffering. This issue would have been by-gone had there been loading bays for these trucks.
“Besides, why is it difficult to create ports in other states? Why not decentralise tank farms? This boils down to insensitivity to the plight of commoners by government.
“If these tank farms and trucks were owned by the poor, government would have made a policy that would clip their wings by now. This is sad”.