Vice Chairman of the Presidential Task Team on restoration of law and order in Apapa, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, on Tuesday lamented that torrential rainfall that has been falling in Lagos in the past three days was impeding its work plan in Apapa.
Following on the heels of an extension of its deadline, the Presidential Task Team ought to have rounded up its assignment to free up traffic and enthrone law and order in Apapa by Wednesday June 26.
Opeifa said work, especially on the Mile 2-Apapa axis, had to be suspended for two days as a result of the rainfall, adding that efforts to clean the drainage, sweep the road and palliate the bad portions are being messed up by the rain.
But for the rain, the team had planned to achieve a clean road from Mile 2 to Apapa by Wednesday.
He however assured that despite the setback, the task team will continue to prosecute the assignment until result, which is the clearing of Apapa roads of traffic gridlocks are achieved.
Opeifa, while addressing some reporters at Apapa on Tuesday, said he had assured the Vice president during his visit last Friday, that the Team will get to Mile 2 from Apapa by Wednesday.
“Rain or no rain, we will continue until we clear the road from the Port to Mile 2. I do not need to assure anybody. Our job is to clean up. We don’t have a deadline; we have a timeline. That is short, long and medium term,” Opeifa said.
He also shed more light on the controversy being generated by his team’s deadline.
He said, “We do not have a deadline. What we have is timeline for the completion of assignments to palliate the Mile 2-Apapa road. The Team has achieved result in two of the four routes into Apapa, and we are 500 metres into getting to Mile 2, thereby freeing up traffic congestion on the Mile 2 end.
He added that while the team has achieved the clearing of Western Avenue-Ijora-Marine Road and the Wharf –Tin Can road of all impediments, the Mile 2-Apapa and Apapa-Badagry roads are still facing challenges.
He said the crisis at Apapa got complicated sometime in 2016 when LASTMA officials were withdrawn as a result of attacks on its personnel. According to him, the withdrawal left a huge gap as those who were drafted to help manage the traffic had been overwhelmed and the situation had continued to get worse.
He however assured that Apapa under the watch of the President Muhammadu Buhari would not be allowed to slip into this gloom again.
On plans to sustain the successes of his team anytime they wind up its activity, Opeifa said, “There is a railway plan, there is a deep seaport construction plan, there is infrastructure rehabilitation plan, there is port operation improvement plan, there is the electronic call-up system plan, there is a traffic management and transportation. There are also plans for the establishment of a holding bay, there is a transit park plan, there is the plan to return LASTMA to manage Apapa traffic. All these are plans that are in place to ensure that we do not slide into the bad state that the Apapa area presently is.”
Opeifa said institutions of government will henceforth play their roles individually and collectively.