The Commuting Experience on Day One of the Lockdown Along Lagos-Ogun Expressway

Petrol tankers, foodstuff trucks stranded at Lagos-Ogun boundary

* They’ll be allowed to pass after clearance ─Lagos Police Command Spokesperson
Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
As the Nigerian Government’s directive on total lockdown of Ogun and Lagos States as two states with comparatively cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) enters into day two, the Police personnel have grounded dozens of tankers and trucks conveying petroleum products and foodstuffs at the boundary between the two states.

ConsumerConnect gathered that as early as 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 31, there were barricades at the Berger end of the popular, busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The exit out of Lagos State was said to have witnessed slow-moving traffic as the Police officers allowed medical personnel, journalists, and trucks conveying foodstuffs and petroleum products to pass through.

However, Premium Times report indicated that the entry into Lagos was grounded.

“We have been here for more than five hours,” said Abdul Adamu, a tanker driver heading to Lagos to lift diesel for onward movement to Abuja.

“We were told in the news that tankers and trucks carrying foodstuffs were not involved (in the lockdown), that is why we moved down here, but we are surprised that Police are here blocking the road, allowing us not to pass,” Adamu related.

According to him, the Police officers at the barricade refused to speak to them.

“We are calling on the Federal Government, the Lagos State Government, and the Ogun State government to come to our aid because this is getting out of hand,” the driver said.

Most of the tanker drivers were said to be coming from Ogere, in Ogun State, to lift fuel and diesel to power the economy amid the 14-day lockdown.

A senior Police officer who sat in a patrol van parked across the road said the presidential directive was the reason for the blockade mounted on the expressway.

Nevertheless, report added that when the officer was reminded of President Muhammadu Buhari’s proviso in his national broadcast that those conveying foodstuffs and petroleum products be allowed access, he declined to make further comments.

During his nationwide broadcast Sunday, March 29 night, President Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and Abuja for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11 p.m. March 30.

The President added that the restriction would also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two states.

Bala Elkana, Spokesperson, Lagos State Police Command, said the trucks and tankers would be allowed to move after their destinations are ascertained.

“They will not just be allowed to pass; they will be cleared first. I refer you to the presidential directive,” he said.

Mr. Tokunbo Korodo, a former Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), was quoted as saying he is hopeful the issue would be resolved amicably.

“I am at the scene now, you know there is a restriction of movement and only the exceptional ones are allowed to move.

“There are lots of vehicles in front of our members, once they are cleared, we will be allowed to move,” Mr. Korodo said.

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