Three days after President Muhammadu Buhari issued a stern directive to articulated truck drivers who have turned all of Lagos into parking lots, the trucks are still everywhere, compounding traffic and making their presence felt from Costain, to Ijora, to Apapa, to Surulere to Ikorodu Road.
They have gone nowhere.
I just passed through that axis and the traffic around Costain at about 3pm of Friday, May 24, was insane as usual.
Foul mouthed bus drivers and tanker drivers were also busy doing what they know how to do best. Hurling insults and spittle at everyone.
“Your papa!! “See head like dem mould am”.
"Ogbeni, carry your carton comot for road."
“E no go better for you!!!”
“You no go employ driver? Ashewo!!”
"Shey ti ya werey ni?"
It took my cab one hour to navigate Eric Moore in Surulere through Abebe Village Road, through Costain. It takes one 5 minutes at the most to wade through this route at the best of times.
On the Eko Bridge, the trucks haven’t moved an inch. Colleagues of mine who are currently in Apapa to see things for themselves, say the trucks are still milling round the place, constituting themselves into the nuisance they have always been.
It’s been hot and sweaty in Lagos in the last couple of hours, in spite of an early morning shower. And the trucks make it even hotter for residents.
On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, President Buhari had declared: “Operators of trucks and tankers have also been directed to vacate the Port Access Roads within the next 72 hours.
“A Presidential directive has been issued for the immediate clearing up of the Apapa gridlock and the restoration of law and order to Apapa and its environs within 2 weeks”.
However, it has to be said that traffic personnel from the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) have moved in to manage traffic in Apapa and surrounding roads as Buhari decreed.
The presidential directive stated that: “The Nigerian Navy and all other military formations have also been mandated to withdraw from traffic management duties in and around the Apapa axis, while military and paramilitary checkpoints in front of the ports and environs are to be dismantled.
“In addition, LASTMA has been authorised to move into Apapa as the lead traffic management agency”.
I just arrived the office, 3 hours after I set out from Alausa in Ikeja. And believe me, bosses, the trucks are to blame.