#BounceExclusive: Danger Looms As Tankers Take Over Ejigbo Roads
Residents of some streets in Ejigbo are sitting on a time bomb, waiting for its last breath to explode.
The imminent danger is in view of the illegal parking of petrol tankers around the Ejigbo depot of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
A visit by Bounce News to the area showed that the short stretch of road from the Isolo-Ikotun road at NNPC bus-stop, has been taken over by tankers queuing to lift petroleum products from the NNPC depot.
The road has been reduced to a single lane as articulated trucks park idly on both sides of the access route into Oke-Afa and Daleko Ejigbo.
Other adjoining streets like Ilamose, Ababo have also been taken over by these tankers.
The residents of these streets have lamented that they are living in constant fear as the tankers pose serious danger to their lives. It was gathered that disaster was narrowly averted recently when a tanker parked on the road was trying to discharge its content.
The fire was said to have been ignited from a mobile phone set during a call by one of the tanker drivers while his motor-boy was discharging fuel. It took the brave intervention of street urchins, popularly called area boys to put off the fire using water mixed with liquid soap before it spread in the highly inflammable area.
Some of the residents who spoke to Bounce News, expressed fear about the loss of lives should there be any explosion, since the tankers are parked very close to their houses.
A resident, Maruf Akanji, said the tankers have converted the road to a parking space without recourse to the safety of residents and other road users. “They seem to have this belief that the road is an extension of the depot and they have a right to be there.
Another resident, Lateef Oladimeji expressed disquiet about the activities of the tanker drivers. “I personally cannot tell why anybody would allow these tankers park on the road. It is just too close to us and all of us are at risk should anything go wrong there one day.”
Aside the houses,Bounce News observed that along this road is Ar Nur Secondary School, a private school, which is well patronised by residents in the area.
It was further gathered that the danger posed by the activities of these tanker drivers in the event of explosion will not only be limited to residents around the area, but to scores of commuters and passengers from, Isolo Oshodi, Ajao Estate, Ikotun and environs who traverse that stretch of road daily.
Traffic along the axis increased in 2014 when the Lagos State government constructed the January 27 link bridge connecting Ejigbo and Ajao Estate to reduce traffic congestion at Isolo and environs.
A distraught motorist told our reporter that the tankers have succeeded in blocking one of the lanes, forcing all other vehicles to use one lane, and causing traffic gridlock in the process.
“The tankers are the main cause of the problem here. We would get stuck in the traffic gridlock for more than 30 minutes for a drive that should ordinarily not take more than 3 minutes”, he said
“The development was uncalled for. “We need the enforcement agencies to address the issue. If they are not chased out of that road, it will damage the road. The truck drivers know the menace caused by parking on the road but they do not care about it. They feel what they are doing is normal”, he said.
“If the government begins to impound their trucks now, the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) may because of that go on strike. I also heard that it was the NNPC that constructed this road. So, they have taken it as a liberty to be on the road”, he added.
An official of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) at the depot, simply called Olawale, said the influx of tankers on the road was not deliberate.
He said there was no space for the tankers to pack inside the park provided by NPPC.
However, a visit by our reporter showed that the depot has enough space to accommodate the trucks.
During the time of the visit to the depot, most of the spaces reserved for the tankers were unoccupied while many of the tankers parked outside.
When Bounce News visited the secretariat of the Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), which is just a few metres away from the depot, nobody was ready to speak on the matter.
Our reporter was told that the council's Sole Administrator, Ibrahim Adigun,who is in a position to speak on the matter was not on seat. He was said to have gone for a meeting in Alausa.