Residents groan over return of tankers after Buhari’s visit
Lagosians at the weekend heaved a sigh of relief following the sudden disappearance of articulated trucks and tankers from the highways and bridges in the state ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit for the All Progressives Congress (APC) mega rally, but it was short-lived as the tankers made a gradual return to the roads on Sunday.
Until last Thursday, Lagosians had endured severe hardship plying the route. Apart from the constant gridlock, incessant robbery and accidents have been a pain in the neck of road users.It was gathered that fuel tankers were ordered to park at Ogere, in Ogun State to allow for free movement of vehicles during the president’s visit. It was observed that the articulated vehicles took over both lanes inward Eko Bridge leading to heavy vehicular traffic congestion in the axis yesterday.
Residents who spoke at separate interviews express anger over the sudden reappearance of the tankers and containers. This, however, is the second time they are experiencing the anti-climax in two weeks. The first time was when the highway was cleared for the Lagos City Marathon.
When The Guardian visited some of the affected routes yesterday, including Ojuelegba, Ijora, Iganmu, Eko and Carter bridges, a long queue of parked trailers were seen, forcing road users to hustle for the little spaces available. Yaba-Apapa and Ikorodu road inward Surulere were not also spared.
Explaining the situation, a trailer driver, Mr. Wasiu Ahmed, disclosed that he got the information on Thursday, February 7, ordering all drivers to stay off Lagos roads till the visit of Mr. President is over. According to him, “Most of us were parked in Ogere after Mowe till Sunday night when we got the call that we could all drive into the state safely without disturbance.”
The Guardian also gathered that security operatives were at the weekend stationed at Berger along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, to prevent the trucks from gaining access into the city.Also speaking, the chairman, Apapa G.R.A Residents Association, Brigadier General Ayo Shola-Vaughan (rtd) described the latest development as sad and deliberate. He accused the Task Force put in place to regulate how the vehicles access the ports and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) of complicity in the whole issue. Vaughan said they would take legal action against the NPA and the owners of shipping companies after the expiration of 21-day ultimatum they issued on the matter.
Mr. Gerald Eze, said: “The government don’t really care about us in Lagos. Imagine the agony we have been going through and how all our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Why should the average man suffer these things if it is possible to clear up the road? Why don’t they want the president to be in the know about the sufferings of his people? This is just hypocrisy and not governance.”
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