FOLLOWING the expiration of the two weeks mandate given to the Task Force Committee on Apapa traffic gridlock to clear the ports access roads off articulated vehicles last Saturday, truck operators have raised the alarm that unidentified uniformed men are back on the ports access roads, extorting truckers aiming to go into the ports to do business inside the ports.
Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune exclusively, a truck driver who identified himself as Ibrahim Haruna explained that while the two weeks given to the Task Force lasted, extortion on truckers was near zero on the port access roads. He however lamented that since the Task Force concluded their mandate on Saturday, truckers are now getting urged to part with some money to access the ports at night.
“In the dead of the night, unidentified uniform men who set up barricades on the mile 2 axis of the Apapa-Oshodi highway now demand for money to allow trucks access into the ports via one-way. This was not so when the Task Force were fully on ground,” Haruna explained.
Also confirming the zero level of extortion during the Task Force two weeks mandate, Chairman of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi lauded the efforts of the Prof. Yemi Oshinbajo led Task Force for ensuring zero level of extortion while their two weeks lasted.
In his words, “The only success the Task Force achieved was the zero level of extortion on our ports access roads. Yes, they also cleared some sections of the ports access roads off trucks, but I want to personally commend them for their stance against extortion.
“Now that they have gone, some of my members have complained of being extorted again. I have started hearing of uniform men demanding for bribes in the dead of the night, but I am doing my findings to confirm this.”