…as stakeholders exonerate Presidential Taskforce
By Gabriel Olawale
The perennial gridlock has resurfaced on Apapa axis with many stationary tankers and containerized trucks blocking the roads and making them inaccessible to residents and other road users.
The development is coming barely a month after the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced the taking over of the control and management of traffic on the axis with establishment of a team to see to build on the achievement of the Presidential Task team which had successfully restored normalcy on the roads.
It was gathered that even after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced the decision of the state government to oversee the management of traffic in the axis, some mobile policemen, who served as members of the presidential taskforce were still in control of the traffic.
When some of the policemen were asked what was going on, they said the state command is in charge, with Area Commander Apapa on ground.
But the stakeholders, who denied seeing anyone on ground, are calling on the state government to urgently intervene before the situation gets messier with trucks parking indiscriminately on the roads and bridges leading to the nation’s busiest port.
Speaking with Vanguard Newspaper a stakeholder, Ebenezer Babalola said that movement in and out of Apapa has become a nightmare following the recent changes on the enforcement of traffic management in the axis.
“The state government mustn’t allow the situation in Apapa to degenerate into what it was before the intervention of the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo-led Presidential Taskteam. The traffic was relatively okay with vehicles having unhindered access to the port but in the last two days, the life is gradually turning into hell with gridlock for us, “he said.
Also speaking, Mr Collins Mbekwe, a truck owner, queried the rationale for removing the mobile policemen manning the Wharf axis while there is no better alternative. He expressed fear that the current situation in Apapa would give room for corruption such that only the trcuckers who can bribe will access the road.
“Why will they remove the working team? What is the rationale for sudden disappearance of the mobile policemen who hitherto enforced orderliness on this axis? Since the removal of the MOPOL, no law enforcement is found on the road to ensure orderliness. We don’t know who is now responsible for the traffic management.
On her part, Mrs Iyabo Olowofuja, a resident, said that returning has become a herculean task for them after a day’s job in the last two days. According to her, it was shocking that the many residents couldn’t go home last night because of the gridlock. “We are calling on Governor Sanwo-Olu to carry out an independent investigation on what is responsible for the recent transportation bottleneck in Apapa with a view to finding a lasting solution to it.
“If the state government can’t manage the traffic situation, why did it allow the presidential taskteam to vacate the road? Why was the officer manning the road was asked to step down? What is the Commissioner of Police, LASTMA doing as the traffic situation getting worse by the day?”