March 22, 2021

Apapa gridlock: Again, hoodlums attack Lagos traffic team over e-call up enforcement

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File image of traffic jam caused by container-laden trucks and tankers on Mile 2-Apapa Expressway.

…70 % of trucks in Apapa unfit for road, Council boss

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Efforts to restore sanity to Apapa and environs may suffer set back following violent attack on Lagos Traffic Management and Enforcement Team in Apapa by suspected hoodlums over implementation of the newly introduced Electronic Call-Up system in port operations.

Recall that a similar incident happened late last year when miscreants launched violent attack on the then men of the Presidential Task Team on Restoration of Law and Order in Apapa at Ijora, en route Apapa Wharf along Area B.

An eyewitness, simply identified as Ahmed, said the incident happened around midnight on Saturday when unknown miscreants launched a surprise attack on the team.

According to Ahmed, “The incident happened around 1 a.m, when trucks were been called into the port. Suddenly, unknown hoodlums launched a surprise attack on the men of the state traffic team who were on the road to ensure adherence to call-up system operation and maintenance of road sanity.

“Sensing danger, the team took to their heels as hoodlums pursued them with various dangerous weapons such as broken bottles, batons, knives, among others.

“The hoodlums, who are being aided by policemen and some illegal truckers subsequently, took over the road after they have succeeded in sending the traffic team away.”

It was gathered that some truckers who did not want the system to work in connivance with policemen had vowed to sabotage the new system.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Superintendent of Police, SP, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, directed our correspondent to head of the traffic team, who is also Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr. Olwatoyin Fayinka for confirmation.

Fayinka, however, confirmed the attack, saying that the Commissioner of Police, CP, Hakeem Odumosu had been fully briefed for further action.

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While condemning the act, he said, “Our mandate is to ensure sanity in Apapa and we will not shy away from this. We will not be deterred by their antics. This mission is no retreat, no surrender.”

“We are urging all stakeholders to corporate in ensuring this arrangement achieve its set objectives, especially, elimination of traffic congestion within the ports and environs.”

Meanwhile, the Apapa Local Government Chairman, Mr. Adele Elijah has reiterated the need for residents, business owners and other stakeholders in Apapa to ensure that current e-call-up system put in place to ease traffic congestion in the area works.

The council boss, Adele Elijah made the appeal at the second stakeholders’ forum on how to find solution to traffic bottlenecks in Apapa and environs.

“The glaring facts are that this congestion had adversely affected the socio-economic life of our people and slow down our efforts at infrastructural development and poverty alleviation. Therefore, our goal is to make movement around Apapa stress-free.”

Elijah described the traffic situation in Apapa as unfortunate, adding that, “We discovered during in our investigation that at least 70 per cent of trucks operating in Apapa and environs are not roadworthy. The traffic, infrastructural, and security situation in Apapa is having negative effects on National and state local economy, with the obvious fact that businesses are either closing down or relocating. This has affected our revenue generation.”

Vanguard News Nigeria