By Richards Adeniyi
The ports users in Apapa area of Lagos said the 72 hour ultimatum by President Muhammadu Buhari ordering trucks out of the ports access roads is belated, as such will not achieve anything.
They insisted that the order is simply a replay of the neglect the President has displayed to the Apapa stakeholders, whose businesses he allowed to go under for years following his refual to fix the ports access.
This was the verdict of respondents whose views were sought on the order, previous orders, and the likelihood of its success.
In the order, the President noted that the vacation would help in clearing the Apapa gridlock and help in restoring law and order to Apapa and its environs. The vacation notice was one of the outcomes of a meeting convened by President Buhari and chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on April 25, 2019.
In a no-holds-barred manner, Thursday, majority of clearing agents including truck drivers, food sellers, artesans, bank staff, commuters and business owners on this long-neglected stretch voiced out their feelings while speaking to National Daily staff.
As they stated, the directive by a president who they said made up his mind not to fix a critical infrastructure that enhances port activities, employment generation and growth of the nation’s economy cannot make a difference from the ones before it.
Reacting to what he described as a belated approach by a leader who he stated claims not to belong to anybody but to all, a staff of Zenith Bank in Coconut area wondered what the President expected to achieve this time around. “Has he now suddenly remembered that our businesses have gone under more than seven years the federal government neglected this road? Which one do we talk about: that the federal government is unwilling to do the needful or that the resources are not there?”. Pleading for anonymity, he bemoaned huge business losses and patronage his bank has suffered for years owing to the dilapidation of the road. He described the entire experience as political. “Otherwise”, he queried, “why will attention be focused more on roads in the north while neglecting the ports area, the golden hen that lays the golden eggs?”