Apapa Gridlock: Soldiers, Hoodlums’ Extortion Frustrating Osinbajo Panel

Despite efforts by a Presidential panel headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to clear roads leading in and out of Apapa ports in Lagos of gridlock, soldiers and touts have continued to frustrate the project.

The extortionists are said to be making about N1m everyday from desperate truckers trying to use a section of the road not meant for them to access the seaports.

They reportedly use touts to collect bribes from truck drivers, who sometime block the port road with their vehicles after the soldiers have given them the right of way.

President Muhammadu Buhari in May had constituted the panel and gave the truckers, constituting a nuisance on that axis, a 72-hour ultimatum to vacate the roads.

After the expiration of the 72-hour ultimatum, the President gave the task force two additional weeks to sanitise the area.

Although the section from Ikorodu-Western Avenue-Ijora to Apapa had been rid of trucks parking on the road, the Mile 2-Apapa axis has remained a no-go area for motorists as trucks still clog up the road along with the reconstruction of the road.

The touts and some military personnel are taking advantage of the situation to exploit the truckers heading for the port.

One of their extortion points is the popular Coconut Under Bridge.

One of our correspondents who visited Apapa on Monday reported that construction work was ongoing from the Creek Road to the Tin Can Island First Gate.

However, on climbing the Liverpool Bridge heading to the Second Gate, it was observed that a man in military uniform and two others donning lemon vests had mounted a barricade at the lower end of the bridge to stop trucks descending to turn under the bridge.

The truck drivers were also made to part with some money before they could be allowed to descend the bridge.

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