It appears the Nigerian authorities know how to tackle the perennial Apapa gridlock after all – especially when elections are around the corner. This could be the explanation for the disappearance of truck queues on Eko Brdige and Ikorodu yesterday, 24 hours to the nation’s rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections.
SHIPS & PORTS DAILY notes that as at 4.00 pm yesterday, virtually all the trucks heading for the ports in Apapa had disappeared from the major road and bridge, with many commuters heaving a sigh of relief.
Recall that the trucks similarly miraculously disappeared from the roads when President Muhammadu Buhari visited Lagos State on February 9, 2019. The same happened on February 15 —the eve of the postponed elections. On both occasions, many Nigerians condemned the Federal and Lagos State Governments for allowing the trucks stay on the road perpetually, thereby compounding the Apapa gridlock and vehicular movement within the city even when they know how to address the problem.
“Driving through Eko bridge down to Alaka through to Stadium and there is no sight of trailers, tankers and containers. Buhari is coming to Lagos all of a sudden there is no tanker on Lagos roads? So there is actually a solution?” a Twiiter user, @Puremind_ had posted.
Meanwhile, as Nigerians troop out in their numbers today to elect their President and National Assembly members, he Head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Observation Mission to Nigeria, Mrs Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, on Friday said all Africans were standing in solidarity with the country.
Johnson-Sirleaf, a former Liberian President, who said this at a press conference in Abuja, expressed satisfaction with the arrangements so far put in place by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure the success of the election.
Although she admitted that the process has not been easy, she was quick to add that nothing worth fighting for comes easy.
She therefore called on Nigerians and national leaders to continue to maintain peace and adhere to the rule of law.
“Tomorrow (today), you will have the privilege to vote for leaders of your choice, and in doing so, consolidate the country’s young democracy.
“The process has not been easy, but nothing worth fighting for is. The people of Africa stand in solidarity with you.
“We extend thanks, admiration, and gratitude to the Nigerian people for their patience in the face of the last minute interruptions to their lives with the postponement of the 2019 general elections.
“We have watched the progress of INEC over the past week working together with domestic and international partners in addressing the logistical and technical challenges.
“We are pleased that these operational constraints have been significantly addressed, thus creating a conducive atmosphere for tomorrow’s (today’s) general elections.
“This signals deepening and the building of confidence in the electoral process.
“We commend you brothers and sisters across the length and breadth of this great country for remaining calm and resilient as these concerns were addressed.
“The signing of the 2019 National Peace Accord facilitated by the National Peace Committee is a further demonstration of the commitment of Nigeria to democracy.
“We are confident that the same level of maturity will be demonstrated during the remaining phase of the electoral process.
“We applaud Nigeria for the pivotal role played in maintaining peace and the restoration of democracy in our sub-region. Several ECOWAS member states, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, and The Gambia are today considered post-conflict success stories because of Nigeria’s positive peacekeeping role.
“We now call upon the national leaders and people of Nigeria to continue to maintain peace and adhere to the rule of law. We look forward to joining a proud nation in the celebration of a successful election,” she said.