Sunday , June 16 2024

Stop linking Apapa gridlock to Osinbajo, stakeholders reply critics

…Exonerate Presidential Taskteam on transportation challenges

Dele Adeoti

Stakeholders in Apapa have called on critics to stop linking Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the challenges of traffic gridlock on the axis, saying that the Presidential Taskforce has since delivered on its mandate and handed over the control and management of the traffic in the area to the state government.

The stakeholders said it was unfair to blame the VP on developments in Apapa after the Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu had publicly announced the taking over of the management of the traffic as published in the national dailies when the governor visited the axis recently.

They appealed to those behind the name calling to leave politics and be objective on issues relating to Apapa, saying that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led taskteam had delivered on its mandate with the evacuation of tankers, trucks and other heavy duty vehicles on the road and bridges leading to Apapa and its environs.

Speaking on the sponsored article in Punch entitled:” Osinbajo’ unfulfilled promise to end Apapa gridlock”, a member of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO)
Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, said the writer of the article was ignorant of the development in Apapa and unqualified to comment on the issue, adding that, real stakeholders appreciate the efforts of the Presidential Task team on the axis.


He said normalcy had since been returned following the VP-led TaskTeam intervention which led to the disappearance of a indiscriminate parking of trucks on Ikorodu Road, Iganmu roads and bridges, Ijora roads and bridges, Mile 2-Oshodi axis, Orile and other suburbs.

According to him, the government has also embarked on arrays of road projects that were hitherto in deplorable state before the intervention of the Vice President Osinbajo’s team.

He said: “Why should anyone keep blaming the VP for the traffic in Apapa? The Presidential Taskforce has since submitted its report to the Presidency since last year and the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Lagos State government have taken over. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had also announced the plan to to set up a committee to oversee Apapa issues? Why can’t the report ask what the Lagos State government and its traffic management agency, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA are doing about it? Why the name Osinbajo, if not for politics,? he quizzed.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi while inaugurating a new operation command centre built by APM Terminals Apapa to boost efficiency and service delivery, said the rail line when completed would facilitate the movement of containers out of Apapa Port, thereby reducing pressure on the roads.

Also speaking, a truck owner, Mr Collins Mbekwe, said that it was totally wrong to blame the Vice President or the Presidential Taskforce for the traffic gridlock, in Apapa. He added that the sudden removal of the mobile policemen from Wharf axis was responsible for the resurface gridlock.

Mbekwe, who queried the rationale for removing the mobile policemen while there is no better alternative, wondered why some people who have never visited Apapa will be publishing misleading report or article targeted at individual wrongfully.

He added: “As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing concerning the VP on this? The Lagos State government has fully taken over of the traffic control of Apapa. When the Presidential Taskforce was in control, the gridlock was never this bad. With the PTT, corruption was eradicated, abandoned road projects received attention and would soon be completed, manual call-ups system was enforced and orderliness was restored, what else does any right thinking person expect?”

On his part, another stakeholder, Ebenezer Babalola said that movement in and out of Apapa has become a nightmare following the recent changes on the enforcement of traffic management in the axis.

“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 was relatively okay with vehicles having unhindered access to the port but in the last two days, the life is gradually turning into hell with gridlock for us, “he said.

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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