Truck drivers working at Lagos ports have issued a warning to shut down the Lagos Port -Apapa and Tin-Can Island after an assistant truck driver was killed in the early hours of Wednesday. The drivers are protesting the rising levels of extortion and demanding that the government takes action to remove extortion points along the port corridors.
According to reports, the incident occurred at the Total bridge inward Apapa when officers of the Nigeria Police and the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) stopped the truck driver along with the motor-boy on the bridge and allegedly demanded N500 from the truck driver who then refused.
Kolade Owoeye, a driver at the scene of the incident, stated that the refusal of the driver to part with the N500 led to a serious altercation, which resulted in the beating of the motor-boy until he fell from the articulated vehicle and was crushed to death by his truck.
Truck drivers have threatened to shut down all access points to ports and paralyse port operations until the government removes all the extortion points along the port corridors. Mohammed Sani, the administrative Secretary of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners of Nigeria (AMATO), confirmed the development, saying the traffic officers asked the truck drivers for money and were refused.
Sani also revealed that the drivers and others are blocking access points to Apapa port and are demanding the release of the detained driver. He further stated that the soldiers are on top of the bridge to free the road.
Isiaq Rafiuayub, a truck driver, called on other truckers to join the protests and shut down access roads leading into ports for one week until the government removes all the extortion points from Alaka to Iganmu under-bridge. He further stated that the Coconut to Tin Can port must also be shut down until further notice, adding that the government must stop illegal extortion by police and area-boys immediately.
The truckers have voiced their concerns about the lack of security and traffic control measures along the ports corridors. They have accused some officers of the Nigeria Police and LASTMA of being extortion bandits hiding under the guise of providing security and traffic control