Tanker Drivers Dare Navy, Defy Quit Order
Truck and tanker drivers have defied a 48-hour ultimatum by the Nigerian Navy and Lagos State Government to vacate all bridges in the state to avoid disasters and economic loss to the nation.
The refusal of the drivers has set up a possible showdown with the Naval authorities and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
The order, which lapsed on Saturday, was given on Wednesday last week at a meeting held at Naval Base in Apapa.
Convener of the meeting, the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Adm. Sylvanus Abbah, had appealed to the tanker drivers to leave the bridge to prevent terrorists from taking advantage of the situation.
He said, “Costain is going to be the turning point of the trucks. After 48 hours, no truck will park on the bridge because of national interest and I hope you will all take the decision of this meeting.”
The meeting was attended by the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) the Nigerian Union Petroleum Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), the Nigerian Police, Dangote Group, Apapa Residents Association and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority.
But as the order expired on Satursday, the tankers still littered the bridges, causing gridlock as usual.
When Bounce News visited the affected areas on Monday, the tanker drivers still stationed their vehicles on the bridges, starting from Iponri flyovers on Funsho William road in the metropolis to Ijora down to Apapa.
It was gathered that the ongoing repair works at the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway forced most of the tanker drivers to take the Ijora axis as an alternative.
Some of the truck drivers, who spoke to our correspondent said they have no other place to park until their companies create a place for them.
While the tanker drivers are insisting on not leaving the spot, the state government has said there is no going back, insisting that enough is enough.