Truckers to protest against illegal activities of armed forces at ports
Truck owners and drivers under the aegis of the Council of Maritime Transport Union and Association (COMTUA) have decried alleged illegal activities of the Nigerian Army in the ports corridor.
They said the Army has chosen to engage in the private business of hauling empty containers from holding bay to port, noting that this activity is denying truckers access to jobs.
The National President, COMTUA, Adeyinka Aroyewun, stated this in a letter to the National Security Adviser of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and copied to the Inspector General of Police, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) titled: “Illegal Military Operation Along Port Corridor, A Recipe For Crisis,” dated September 5, 2022.
The truckers said the military personnel move the vehicles used for this operation against traffic and the time belt schedule for the movement of empty containers at the ports.
According to the truckers, the military personnel uses force to deny them the right to use the road, while intimidating, harassing and impounding their trucks.
The letter reads: “This engagement in private business has made the military personnel violate several rights of our members, which may be resisted if it continues. We have written to the Chief of Army staff earlier and an investigation was conducted, where the military authority denied involvement in these activities.
“The Nigerian Ports Authority that authorises the illegal movement of these vehicles and personnel keep hiding under the covers of military equipment to violate the regulations.
“The COMTUA National President accompanied by the taskforce of the association visited Mr Biggs Junction in Apapa and observed that there were two lines on the commercial road on the inward Apapa road, while the middle lane is free for other road users.”
“There is another line of empty containers facing the upcoming vehicles (One way) with brand new vehicles. On the Creek Road from Liverpool towards Lagos Port Complex (LPC), we have two lines namely Obelawo for Berger operation vehicles and GMT trucks all inward Apapa, while the middle lane is also free for other road users.
“The vehicles in opposite directions along commercial road inward port are referred to as Military trucks, they are priority trucks which travel against traffic and outside the timing belt. These priority trucks are given an advantage over others by TTP, NPA and even enforcement agencies.
“We have complained severally, yet, the illegality continues. We shall not allow this to continue. COMTUA shall protect her members’ business. We are by this letter requesting your immediate intervention to avert a breakdown of law and order, which is steering at us.”