By DAPO OLAWUNI
One month after police officers controlling Apapa gridlock clashed with truck drivers over alleged extortion, there was serious shooting at the second gate of the Tin Can Island Port weekend as truck drivers clashed again with the police and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) officials.
Eye witnesses informed DAILY TREND NEWS that there was a serious riot at the second gate of the Tin Can Port on Saturday. The riot was reportedly triggered by the fact that the authorities controlling the NPA trailer park acting on favouritism.
The truck drivers alleged that trucks were not being called into the port in the order of their arrival, some were left on the queue for several days while others who have bribed the officials are given express entry.
In a video of the fracas recorded and sent to our correspondent, the truck drivers were seen burning fires and all alleged illegal checkpoints mounted at the port gate.Even though details were sketchy at the time, two people were reported to have lost their lives inside garage opposite Tin Can second gate.
Recall that police and truck drivers had clashed at Lillypond truck park over alleged bribery and extortion. Several vehicles belonging to the NPA were burnt down, while other properties were destroyed.
One month after the incident, the Lillypond terminal is yet to be reopened for operations.
Speaking with our correspondent, Chairman of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO) Chief Remi Ogungbemi though said he was outside Lagos, he however gave an account of the Tin Can port clash as he was briefed.
According to him “Some of the truckers were not being allowed to enter the port, while they were passing some other trucks that are just coming, this aggravated some of the drivers”
“They said people died, but I am not sure, I am yet to confirm that, some were also said to have been rushed to the hospital, but these are just reports and hearsays, I have not really gotten accurate account of it”
“People were reportedly shot, I don’t know if that is true, several others sustained injuries and were rushed to the hospital”
Ogungbemi urged relevant authorities including the Department of State Security (DSS) to investigate the clash at Lillypond terminal, describing it as barbaric, even as he appealed that the perpetrators be brought to book.
The AMARTO Chairman said there is too much familiarity among the security agencies and the NPA officials deployed to control the traffic gridlock.
Also speaking with our correspondent, a licensed Customs Agent confirmed that as at Monday morning, normalcy have returned to the Tin Can Port area.
“We were told that two people died, but when we got here this morning, we did not see that. The line formed on the expressway for truckers have been blocked, the normal line is the one moving now” he said