You may never fully understand the malady at the Mile 2/Apapa end of the Oshodi-Apapa expressway until you visit there. This is the ill-luck President Goodluck Jonathan apportioned the residents and workers in that area; it grew incrementally worse in the last two years.
Tankers, as they are called, waiting to load Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, have defied every suggested solution. It was so bad sometime last year that President Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Project Monitoring, Professor Sylvester Monye, came to Lagos but was not able to get to the point of the road where a proper assessment could be made. Why? Because the tanker drivers are the lords of the road!
If you are a resident of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, just imagine the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, as the loading depot. Then imagine a five-lane queue of tankers – highly combustible, with unruly drivers – from the airport all the way to Lugbe Estate.
If you are a resident of Ibadan, imagine a five-lane queue of these same articulated vehicles from Iwo Road roundabout all the way to Ibadan Tollgate, by Lead City University. If you live and work in Enugu, imagine same from the Enugu Airport all the way to Government House, Enugu, where Governor Sullivan Chime presently resides.
For those living and or working in Kaduna, visualize a five-lane queue of these terrible tankers from Angwanrimi to Ahmadu Bello House; and if you are a Port Harcourt person, imagine same from Pipeline Junction to Mile 1 Flyover.
The reason for this voyage is that unless and until you experience this madness, the story would sound distant, very distant.
Yet, that same road leads to Nigeria’s port, one of the busiest in Africa, yielding billions of naira but enmeshed in this murkiness. For a distance of less than 400metres in-between and depending on which part of this stretch is your house or office, you could be stranded on the road for eight, yes, eight hours. It could be worse.
Even a revered Man of God, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, when he visited Vanguard in December 2013, could not but express bewilderment at the will-power of residents and workers in this seemingly God-forsaken part of Lagos. Vanguard has had to open an ultra-modern outlet in Ikeja for ease of business regarding advert placements. The madness is egregiously complemented by craters on this federal highway, which makes driving crazy.
Jonathan is on his way out. Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s next President and Commander-in-Chief would inherit this mess.
If there is any part of Nigeria requiring urgent CHANGE, it is this part of town. Nigerians are waiting. 18 more days cannot be as bad as the years of neglect.