Despite an ultimatum by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State ordering sanity along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, truck drivers and touts, yesterday, dared the governor to evict them.
It will be recalled that Governor Sanwo-Olu, last Friday, carried out an inspection tour of the axis with an ultimatum to the truckers to vacate the road or face the consequences.
Despite the partial compliance on Monday, the traffic situation has worsened as touts returned to the Mile-2 axis unchallenged by the Police and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA.
The truck drivers, who claimed to have settled everyone involved in the traffic management along the route, are daring the Lagos State government to address the problem by tackling the root cause and other contributory factors, adding that truck drivers are human beings too.
We’re suffering untold hardship—Truck drivers
A truck driver, who identified himself simply as Abdullahi, said: “From the look of things, everyone is blaming truck drivers, who are suffering untold hardship on the road while the police, LASTMA, NUPENG officials and area boys, who extort us are left to continue with their exploitations on us on daily basis.”
Abdullahi, therefore, urged the state government to convene a meeting of all the parties involved in the management of the axis with truck drivers to find a lasting solution to the problem.
“I am appealing to the government to meet with all the parties to find a lasting solution, otherwise their current effort is like scratching the surface of the matter,” Abdullahi said.
He noted that most of the officials mentioned are living on the sweat of the truck drivers, who spend days under the sun and rain with harassment from the officials and area boys.
Touts return as Police, LASTMA look on
Some of the drivers, who spoke toVanguard on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the road has become their last bus stop as the government has refused to provide them with rightful places to park.
One of the drivers, who looked quite tired, asked our reporter if he thought that they were happy to work under the conditions they found themselves in.
The driver said: “Do you think that we are happy to work under this harsh condition without taking our bath for days and with harassment from area boys, Lagos State Transport Management Agency, LASTMA, Police and other security agencies?”
He lamented that it had been their wish that the traffic should flow but those in authority have refused to do something about the whole thing.
“Why have they refused to do something about the harassment and extortion by the various security agencies and area boys?” the driver queried.
Pressed by the reporter to say their expectation from the government, the young driver said: “You should ask the Nigeria Ports Authority, LASTMA, Police and area boys why the traffic is not flowing.
“They know why they are making everything difficult for us so that they can make more money daily.”
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