Motorists and road-users have expressed apprehension that traffic may be returning to Apapa following the withdrawal of the Presidential Task Force and traffic management being handed over to the Lagos State Government.
However, the Lagos Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) is yet to take control of the axis 3 days after the handover by the Federal Government.
According to a media report from the Nations, it was learnt the decision to hand over the continued enforcement of law and order to Lagos was taken at a meeting with the representatives of the Vice President, Nigeria Port Authority, the Federal Road Safety Corps, and other federal agencies last Wednesday.
It can be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated a Presidential Taskforce headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Comrade Kayode Opeifa as Vice Chairman to restore sanity on the Apapa axis following the total collapse of law and order which led to indiscriminate parking of heavy articulated vehicles like trucks, tankers, containerized heavy-duty vehicles on roads leading to Apapa and its environs.
The Presidential Taskforce restored some level of normalcy on the axis with the disappearance of trucks and tankers on the bridges and roads on Ikorodu road, Iganmu road, Eko Bridge and other axis leading to Apapa.
Opeifa, in one of his statements last year, said that the team was able to clear Apapa of gridlock, has succeeded in instilling discipline and improving the traffic situation in Apapa.
The taskforce team was able to ensure easy access to Apapa for the residents, business owners, and other stakeholders.
But there have been serious concerns among stakeholders and residents over the ability of LASTMA to sustain normalcy and build on the success recorded by the presidential task force.
They lamented the traffic management agency was yet to take control of the axis days after the decision was taken and the chaotic traffic situation has begun to resurface.
A resident, Seun Adeoye, said: “We are afraid that the situation in Apapa may get worse with this decision. This is a problem that the military couldn’t solve. Now businesses are returning to the axis due to the normalcy returned by the presidential task force.’’
*Before the advent of the Osinbajo-led Presidential Taskforce, corruption had taken over in the axis. But the task force men were able to deal with its strategy put in place. I don’t think LASTMA is prepared for this onerous task.”