The truck drivers and touts boldly defy Sanwo-Olu, asserting that they cannot be forced out of Oshodi-Apapa.

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admin September 27, 2023
Updated 2023/09/27 at 9:18 AM

In defiance of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s order for orderliness along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, truck drivers and touts boldly challenged the governor by refusing to leave the area.

Last Friday, Governor Sanwo-Olu personally inspected the area and issued an ultimatum to the truckers to vacate the road or face consequences.

Although there was some compliance on Monday, the situation has worsened due to the return of touts in the Mile-2 axis without any intervention from the police or LASTMA.

The truck drivers, who claim to have resolved issues with all parties involved in traffic management, are challenging the Lagos State government to address the root cause and other contributing factors to the problem, highlighting that truck drivers are also human beings.

“We, truck drivers, are experiencing immense hardship,” said Abdullahi, a truck driver who wished to remain anonymous. He went on to express his frustration with the constant blaming of truck drivers, while those who extort and exploit them, such as the police, LASTMA, NUPENG officials, and area boys, continue unchecked.

Abdullahi called upon the state government to arrange a meeting with all parties involved in overseeing the management of the area, including truck drivers, in order to address this issue and find a long-term solution. He emphasized that the government’s current efforts only scratch the surface and that a more comprehensive approach is necessary.

Abdullahi further highlighted that many of these officials thrive off the hard work and suffering of truck drivers, who endure long hours under the scorching sun and heavy rain, all the while being harassed by these officials and area boys.

Touts have made a comeback, with Police and LASTMA observing the situation. Several drivers, speaking anonymously, revealed that the lack of designated parking spaces has left them stranded on the road.

One weary driver, expressing his frustration to our reporter, questioned whether they were content with their current working conditions. He explained, “Do you think we are satisfied working in such harsh conditions, without being able to take a proper bath for days and enduring harassment from area boys, LASTMA, the Police, and other security agencies?”

He expressed his disappointment that, despite their desire for traffic to flow smoothly, the authorities have neglected to address the ongoing issues. He questioned, “Why are they not taking action to combat the harassment and extortion by the various security agencies and area boys?”

When asked about their expectations from the government, the young driver responded by suggesting that the Nigeria Ports Authority, LASTMA, Police, and area boys should be questioned about the traffic congestion. According to the driver, these stakeholders intentionally make things difficult in order to profit.

In response to the ongoing gridlock on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, particularly at the Mile-2 area, the Lagos State Government has called for a stakeholders’ meeting with port operators.

This meeting, scheduled for tomorrow, will include representatives from various organizations such as NUPENG, NPA, NURTW, RTEAN, LASTMA, Nigeria Police, FRSC, PTDA, Nigerian Navy, and the Army, among others. The aim of the meeting is to find a solution to the traffic problem.

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