Despite Buhari’s directive, trucks remain on Apapa roads

Apapa traffic gridlock caused by truck drivers (Photo Credit: RCCG Traffic Squad)
Apapa traffic gridlock caused by truck drivers (Photo Credit: RCCG Traffic Squad)

Weeks after a presidential directive ordered the immediate evacuation of the parked tankers and trailers from Apapa and its environs, the situation has largely remained the same.

The directive, which was issued on May 22, mandated “the immediate removal of all trucks from the bridges and roads within Apapa and all adjoining streets leading into the Apapa axis.”

Direct message

A PREMIUM TIMES check on the roads in and out of Apapa during the week showed that the tankers and trailers have remained parked on most of the roads leading to the Tin Can and Apapa ports.

“From Tin-can to Mile 2, nothing has changed. The trucks have not moved anywhere,” a clearing agent who preferred not to be named told PREMIUM TIMES on Friday.

Drivers’ struggles

When PREMIUM TIMES visited the Apapa-Oshodi expressway on Wednesday, a commuter at Mile 2 said traffic along the Oshodi-Mile 2 end of the expressway has eased.

“If Buhari had not given that order, this place will not be free as this,” he said.

While the trucks parked on Eko Bridge, inwards Ijora, have been evacuated; they completely blocked the road leading to Ijora from Costain.

At Ijesha, along the Oshodi-Apapa expressway, trucks were seen neatly parked on one side of the service lane while the expressway was free.

From Second Rainbow to Mile 2, down to Coconut and Tin Can First Gate inwards Apapa, there seemed to be no removal of trucks as some drivers expressed their struggles to move their trucks from the expressway.

“I’ve spent two weeks on this road just to move from Sanya to Mile 2 here,” a driver who identified himself as Johnson said.

“They passed us a bit last week which was why I was able to move from Sanya to this place but since two days ago, I have not moved an inch from this spot.”

Mr Johnson blamed the “blockage at Apapa” for his inability to move.

“No security agent has come here to trouble us, they cannot because it is not our fault, the road is blocked. They only removed all those on the service lane and even towed some,” he added.

Another truck driver, Julius Agison, said he had been on the road for ten days and had not made much progress. one week and 3 days with no progress. He stated that the damaged road at Apapa is the root of the problem.

“I only moved my truck from Ijesha to Mile 2 since I’ve been here,” Mr Agison said.

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“What the government should have done is give like two to three weeks and allow the trucks within Lagos to offload and pull out first, they should not even allow any other truck to enter the port road until those that are there are cleared.”

Mr Agison also said containers falling from flatbeds along the expressways due to the bad roads had also led to the slow movement of the trucks.

Abiodun Yinusa, another truck driver stuck on the expressway, said he has spent one week moving from La Casera Junction to Mile 2, a three-kilometre distance.

“Since yesterday, I have not put on my engine, the last time they passed us, I only moved from that pole to this place,” Mr Yinusa said, pointing at a nearby pole.

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