As Sanwo-Olu threatens to name cabal behind gridlock
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Contrary to expectation on the free flow of traffic following the commencement of Call-Up system for port operations, Oshodi-Apapa Expressway has been on a total lockdown as fuel tankers and containerized vehicles parked indiscriminately along the road.
This happened as Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, vowed to publicly mention the names of prominent Nigerians behind the gridlock situation in Apapa and environs.
Recall that barely 72 hours into the commencement of the new Call-Up System on Saturday, February 27, 2021, into the administration of port operations introduced by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Lagos State Special Traffic Management Enforcement Team has expressed determination to sustain the new order in Apapa and environs as gridlock eases off.
The newly created Lagos special traffic team is headed by Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Fayinka, other members include the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Central Business Districts, Sola Giwa, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Political Security Intelligence, Ayodeji Laurent, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP. Hakeem Odumosu and General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, Engr. Olajide Oduyoye.
Speaking on Monday, during inspection and monitoring of compliance level to the new order, Fayinka, in the company of Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, expressed partial satisfaction, saying, “There is still room for improvement.”
He stressed that all hands must be on deck to ensure total sanity and sustenance of the present traffic situation in Apapa.
However, gridlock resurfaced along Oshodi Apapa Expressway on Wednesday, as motorists and residents were stuck in traffic for several hours due to indiscriminate parking by truck drivers.
No personnel of the new Lagos Special traffic management team could be sighted, only touts and truck drivers were seen controlling traffic that was not moving.
Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu, while inaugurating the newly reconfigured Lekki 1 and 2 Abraham Adesanya Roundabouts, Lekki area of the state, said, “All of you had woken up on Saturday as we started what we promised our citizens.
“We gave a commitment that we will do everything possible to solve the gridlock problem of Apapa.
“Yes, you can say that it is taking us a year because we need to have a concerted effort we need to work a lot from the background, and you remember that there was a first presidential task force that was there, so we needed to unbundled that and take it up.
“But beyond, that we needed to collaborate with a lot stakeholders on that corridor.
“NPA being number one stakeholder that is working with us, federal ministry of transportation, all of the maritime operators, the unions that are in that corridor.
“And what we are seeing is the beginning of a lasting solution that we have brought to Apapa.
“Our appeal is that we are not out of it completely yet, this is a taste of the pudding they say is in the eating.
“Our citizens have seen that what used to cause two to three hours can indeed take fifteen to twenty minutes for them to commune.
“We have seen that when we work together and we say that the resilient of Lagos, we can solve our problem internally, we have seen that indeed this can happen in our clime and environment.
“Obviously, what we are doing now is that we have taken the unscrupulous people who have been benefiting from the gridlock, we have to take whatever it is they are earning from them and we know they will want to fight back.
“I am facing the camera now that we will not stop at anything to ensure that anybody that tries to retract and take us back to where we are coming from on the gridlock on Apapa, we will do everything that we have to fight those people.
“We will name and shame them, we will bring out their names, be it a corporate organization, company, police officer, Lagos State officer, be it a union, that will say that solution that we have brought about will not work, they will go and answer to the citizens of Nigeria and Lagos. We will bring them to the public court for them to see that we are about seriousness.
“We cannot condole the recklessness and carelessness that our citizens have gone through.
“I want to use this opportunity to commend the MD of NPA because they have worked with us on this agenda.
“My appeal is to others who have not signed on to this wonderful call-up system that we have embarked upon.
“I want to call most of the big transport logistics companies, I am not calling their names because they have done anything wrong, but I want them to collaborate with us.
“SIFAX, I want to you come because we know you have huge numbers of trailers, DANGOTE, FLOUR MILLS, TUNDE FOLAWIYO, and others, let us have a system that our citizens will be proud of and that’s the real reason we are in government.
“We will stop at nothing because our guys will be working to ensure there are no surprises on the road.
“I want to say to our citizens that these are just one of our modest attempt to ensure that what we promised which is to solve transportation and traffic solutions in Lagos and we do it well.
“We are going to put resources there and ensure that whatever that we need to do to continue to make Apapa free and flow, we will do it and do it well.
“Finally is to thank everyone that our job is not done yet, it is a work in progress, and we will continue to ensure the solution that we promised you, we are not stopping until when we realized all.”