… Truck Drivers Kick
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Following the recent container accident which led to lost of nine lives on the Ojuelegba bridge, the Lagos State Government has banned movement of articulated trucks on Ojuelegba and Dorman Long Bridges.
The state government has equally directed the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to start arresting any truck that violates this fresh directive.
Meanwhile the Chairman of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) Chief Remi Ogungbemi has condemned the new directive from the government, even as it insinuated that the policy is vindictive and witch-hunting truck drivers.
Ogungbemi wondered why the State can easily restrict movement of trucks, but find it extremely difficult to outlaw or criminalize the Extortionist, Hoodlums / street Urchins that are terrorizing, Beating, Damaging trucks and causing accidents that are leading to death.
The Lagos government in a letter signed by Hon Sola Giwa, Special Advised on Ministry of Transportation dated 6th February 2023 addressed to the General Manager of LASTMA, a copy of which was obtained by DAILY TREND states that “Sequel to the frequent road accidents along Dorman Long and Ojuelegba Bridges as a result of the activities of articulated vehicles resulting to loss of lives and property in the State and in a bid to prevent further casualties, it is imperative for the State Government to restrict the articulated vehicles from the Dorma Long and Ojuelegba Bridges their movement to the State Logistics routes (Oshodi-Apapa Expressway) and under the bridge to link Ikorodu Road then connect Agege Motor Road.
“Sadly, on Sunday, 29”, January, 2023 another tragedy which involved road accident occurred on the Ojuelegba bridge involving a container laden truck which fell of the bridge and crushed a commercial bus on the ground which claimed Nine (9) lives and several others injured.
“Specifically, the State Government has observed that the rising-curve of the bridge is not designed to allow passage of long, spacious and heavy vehicles.
“In view of the foregoing, you are directed to apprehend articulated trucks that pass through Dorman Long and Ojuelegbe bridges in accordance with pronouncement of the State Government, in a bid to reduce the spate of avoidable accidents occasioned by heavy duty and articulated trucks accessing the bridges in order to ensure safety, and security of lives and property across the State” the letter read
The AMATO Chairman, Chief Remi Ogungbemi in his reaction to the directive argued that the cause of the accident of 29th January 2023, which claimed the 9 lives was caused by the commuter buses that are dropping and picking passengers at the ascending of the Ojuelegba bridge.
He said the State Government’s restriction would have been okay if the alternative places is properly cleared of every encumbrances, including commuter buses using one side of roads as Bus stop, the Extortionist, Local government Agents Selling Stickers and Emblems among others.
“I really commend the efforts of LASTMA & Traffic Department of Area “C” Police Station, because, they stationed themselves the day / night, chasing away buses, disallowing them from using the place as bus Stop, and their efforts so far has help not only to dislodged the traffic that always building up there, it has equally help to make the place more safer, Kudos to Lastma and Kudos to Area “C” Police station.
“In mine understanding, if any problem is seen to be reoccurring, the best way to go is to invite the intellect that will seat and come up with creative idea on how the problem can be solved, and to shift the problem to another places, just State has just did.
1- Discourage the place from being use as bus stop, which the Police and LASTMA has started, kudos to them.
2- Remove bus stop from ascending and descending bridges i e Ojuelegba, Costain etc.
3- Outlaw and Criminalize the activities of street Urchins, “Owo Omotaku” (Pay us before you touch your truck that breakdown) “Owo wa da”
4- Erect Barrier on the Ojuelegba bridge outward Ojuelegba, because the bridge is bend and curve, am aware you’re working on that.
5- Before erection of the Barrier, all the encumbrances should be removed, make it motorable for trucks.
To avoid transferring problems from one place to another place, I strongly advise the State STOP either the Test running or full implementation of the restrictions or diversions” Chief Ogungbemi warned