By Simeon Mpamugoh
À coalition of association of truck owners Tuesday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to disband the Presidential Task Team (PTT) set up on May 22, 2019 to restore law and order on worsening gridlock on Apapa-Tincan.
In a demonstration to press for their demands in Lagos, the group led by à chieftain of the National Association of Truck Owners (NARTO) Prince Adeyinka Aroyewun said. “We say no to PTT on Apapa gridlock. We are owners and operators of container carrier trucks. We have been on this journey for too long, we are tired of extortion by policemen.”
The transporters said that the condition that would make them suspend the demonstration would be for the dissolution and exit of the team from Apapa -Tin can and daily passing of export trucks as foreign exchange earner for Nigeria, in line with economic diversification policy of the federal government.
“We also demand for an end to all forms of police brutality against transporters, dissolution of all illegal checkpoints used to extort money from our members in Apapa-Tincan axis and a halt on secret passing of export and other movement of trucks by the Nigeria Port Authority.”
The group urged that Customs leave ports gate, exit trucks from APTM and unconditionally release of trucks seized at CMS Jetty, even as it appeals to the federal government to also release trucks seized by the Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) and abandoned by the team of the Lagos State government. “We equally call for improved operational efficiency of the Application Pools And Multimedia Terminal (APMT) or they leave Nigeria.”
Meanwhile the Vice Chairman, Presidential Task Team, Comrade Kayode Opeifa in a report in one of the national newspapers said that the team was in the process of rounding off its operation. He added that the claims by the group were false, unfounded and of no substance.
He said as part of routine operation, the team met recently in Abuja with the representatives of the Nigeria Port Authority, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and other federal agencies on sustaining sanity in Apapa axis in line with terms of reference which “we were able to achieve within the 90 days of our operations. “