Nigeria: Oshodi-Apapa Gridlock - Lagos Task Force, LASTMA Extortion Persists

25 August 2021

Despite series of petitions against operatives of the Lagos State controlled police, drafted in the state traffic committee, and men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, they were seen yesterday, obstructing traffic along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, leading to gridlock around Mile-2 area of the axis which truck drivers attributed to extortion.

Truck drivers, had last week stormed the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway in protest against extortion by security personnel, blocking the highway to other motorists.

Meanwhile, motorists and commuters along the axis have expressed concern over the failure of the state government to call the errant officers to order.

The state traffic management committee was set up by Goverrnor Bababjide Sanwo-Olu, to restore sanity to the persistent gridlock which had defied all solutions applied previously in Apapa and environs.

The traffic committee is headed by Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka.

Attempts to reach Fayinka proved abortive as he refused to respond to calls.

Motorists had enjoyed relative order on the axis few weeks ago but due to extortion and activities by the security personnel and LASTMA of the traffic committee, gridlock has been the order of the day subjecting motorists to untold hardship as they are stuck in gridlock for several hours.

A motorist, Mr. Taiwo Shoboye, while recounting his experience, called on the state government to disband the current traffic committee and replace it with a more serious squad in the interest of the public.

"Today (Tuesday), I saw a police officer of the traffic committee collecting bribe from a trucker while we (motorists) were stranded in the gridlock at Fatgbems area, inward Mile 2, Oto Wharf.

"These people will ever change. I think Governor Sanwo-Olu, if he really means well for residents should disband this committee and replace with another squad who are ready to do the job accordingly. We are tired. Enough is enough."

Another motorist, Mr. Anthony Chukwuma, simply stated: "These security personnel are the major problem to the Apapa gridlock. They are enmeshed in corruption and would not let go. If the state government has the will power they know what to do with these erring officers."

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