The Lagos State Police Command and other relevant agencies are to begin ‘Operation Restore Sanity’ on Friday to free Apapa of gridlock, the State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, said on Thursday.
Edgal, after meeting with representatives of some relevant stakeholders in Lagos, told newsmen of the planned operation, describing the Apapa gridlock as a “national disaster’’ which calls for concern.
“The problem which gave rise to the sorry state of roads linking the ports is not limited to mere blocking of roads or activities of tank farms with no holding bays for trucks.
“It will be irresponsible and wicked to allow Lagosians to continue with the hardship without coming up with a joint effort to ease the flow of traffic.
“This is why we have sat together with relevant agencies to launch “Operation Restore Sanity on Lagos Roads” which will kick off on Friday by midnight.
“The police will be deploying 1,000 policemen as the operation will be to move trucks and containers from bridges and roads to designated locations for ease of traffic.
“This operation needs a lot of manpower and requires cooperation of all sectors in charge of transport,” he said.
Edgal commended Lagosians for their patience, promising that the patience would pay off in a matter of days.
“Between now and Monday, there will be free movement of motorists, and Lagosians will have easy access to their work and homes.
“On Monday, we will go to another level of engagement with relevant authorities so that we don’t have a repeat,” he said.
The police chief further appealed to maritime workers to shelve their impending strike and make room for dialogue, so that Lagosians can move freely.
The General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Wale Musa, also said he was aware of the pain which the gridlock was causing Lagosians, assuring that the problem would be resolved.
The representatives of the 9th Brigade Commander, FRSC Sector Commander, and the Commandant of NSCDC, alongside Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers with jurisdictional responsibilities in the affected gridlock areas and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation Lagos State were in attendance.
Officials of NUPENG, who volunteered 50 men, members of NARTO, who volunteered 50 men and truck owners, who volunteered 50 men to join the task force for the operation, were also present.
The NSCDC, FRSC, LASTMA, LASEMA and the Nigerian Army also agreed to provide men to join the operation.