Sunday , June 16 2024

Apapa: Gridlock returns as IGP removes Mobile Policemen

Olalere James

The removal of the mobile policemen on Apapa wharf axis by the Inspector General of the Police, Abubakar Adamu has worsened the traffic gridlock in the nation’s busiest port, The Story has authoritatively gathered.

It was leant that the perennial gridlock resurfaced on the Apapa axis with many stationary tankers and containerised trucks blocking the roads, just less than 48hours after the Bayo Sulayman-led Mobile Policemen on the ever busy port road. The development has made axis inaccessible to residents and other road users, stakeholders have called on the Lagos State government to urgently intervene to save them from the ugly situation.


The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had about a month ago announced the take-over of the control and management of traffic on the axis with the establishment of a team to build on the achievement of the Presidential Task team, which had successfully restored normalcy on the roads.
It was gathered that even after Governor Sanwo-Olu announced the decision of the state government to oversee the management of traffic on the axis, some mobile policemen, who served as members of the presidential taskforce, were still in control of traffic.

A stakeholder, Ebenezer Babalola,
who spoke with newsmen,
said “that movement in and out of Apapa has become a nightmare following the recent changes on the enforcement of traffic management on the axis.”

Also when our correspondent asked some of the policemen around what was going on, they said the “state command is in charge, with Apapa Area Commander on ground.”
But stakeholders, who denied seeing anyone on ground, are calling on the state government to urgently intervene before the situation gets messier with trucks parking indiscriminately on the roads and bridges leading to the nation’s busiest port. They argued that Apapa gridlock resurfaced and became worsened following the removal of the mobile policemen on the road two days ago.

Also lamenting the traffic situation on the axis, a resident, who simply identified himself as Akin expressed doubt in the readiness of the state government to manage the traffic in the area.

According to him, “The state government mustn’t allow the situation in Apapa to degenerate into what it was before the intervention of the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo-led Presidential Taskteam. The traffic management was relatively okay with vehicles having unhindered access to the port but in the last two days, life is gradually turning into hell with gridlock for us.”


Similarly, Collins Mbekwe, a truck owner, queried the rationale behind the removal of the mobile policemen manning the Wharf axis while there is no better alternative. He expressed fear that the current situation in Apapa would give room for graft such that only the trucker owners who can offer bribes will access the road.
“Why will they remove the working team? What is the rationale behind the sudden disappearance of the mobile policemen who hitherto enforced orderliness on this axis? “Since the removal of the MOPOL, no law enforcement agent is found on the road to ensure orderliness. We don’t know who is now responsible for the traffic management?”
Also speaking, Iyabo Olowofuja, a resident, said that return of gridlock has become a herculean task for them after a day’s job in the last two days.
According to her, it was shocking that many residents couldn’t go home last night because of the gridlock.
“We are calling on Governor Sanwo-Olu to carry out an independent investigation on what is responsible for the recent transportation bottleneck in Apapa with a view to finding a lasting solution to it.
“If the state government can’t manage the traffic situation, why did it allow the presidential task team to vacate the road? Why was the officer manning the road asked to step down? What is the Commissioner of Police, LASTMA doing as the traffic situation is getting worse by the day?”

About Ayinla Muritala

Agbede is a seasoned Journalist with more than a decade experience as the fourth estate of the realm. He is a graduate of Mass Communication from the Univeristy of Ilorin and currently freelance with few of the Nigerian Dailies.

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