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Lagos truckers suspend planned protest

By Adaku Onyenucheya
15 February 2022   |   4:11 am
Truck owners and drivers have suspended their planned withdrawal of services as well as a peaceful protest at the Lagos seaports over the unsatisfactory handling of the electronic call-up system.

Trucks parked along Apapa port road

Truck owners and drivers have suspended their planned withdrawal of services as well as a peaceful protest at the Lagos seaports over the unsatisfactory handling of the electronic call-up system.

The truckers under the aegis of the Council of Maritime Trucks Union and Associations (COMTUA) had threatened to withdraw their services and embark on a peaceful protest.

COMTUA, in a letter signed by the National President, Adeyinka Aroyewun, and sent to the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, said the withdrawal of service was to register their dissatisfaction with the handling of the trucks’ electronic call-up system.

The Council stated that its members have lost much revenue to the call-up system.

The Council noted that the increase in extortion points by both state and non-state actors, including activities of the state’s committee on Apapa gridlock, was appalling.

COMTUA added that the continuous invasion of garages, parks and warehouses by agencies on abandoned vehicles of Lagos State to extort its members of their hard-earned money necessitated the need to protest.

President of the Council, in the letter, informed that the protest will begin on February 14, 2022, with a march to the Lagos governor’s office among other places.

Giving an insight into its plans, the group said: “We wish to notify you of the intention of our association to protest in mile 2, Ijora, Tincan, Apapa and its environs. This is to register our dissatisfaction with the ETO/TTP handling of the electronic call-up regime.

“We have written several occasion without response and we are compelled to act as follows: peaceful protest around the areas mentioned, withdrawal of service of our members and protest to governor’s office among other places.”

But when The Guardian visited the planned locations, for the protest yesterday, apart from the usual static trucks that blocked a part of the Tin Can port road, the busy Apapa port road was scanty as only a few trucks were seen moving with containers, while some drove empty.

It was as if truckers had stopped their services, but there was no form of protest.

When the COMTUA National President was contacted, he said the scheduled protest and consequent withdrawal of service by truckers have been suspended at the moment.

He said this is to allow for ongoing discussions and engagement with several agencies of government who, hitherto, have called in and expressed concerns and promised to intervene immediately.

“We regret all the inconveniences this decision may have caused and thank all our members for their continued support, words of encouragement and quality advice. We equally encourage all our members to remain calm and law-abiding throughout this turbulent time. Be rest assured that we shall return to better days in this industry,” he stated.