Uncomfortable with the perennial Apapa gridlock which has remained unresolved for the past ten years, the Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN) on thursday embarked on a peaceful protest to draw the attention of the of authorities to the menace which has cost the country trillions of naira in revenue.
Specifically, MAJAN, whose membership is drawn from the print and electronic media, began the protest from Mile 2 and sang solidarity songs to show its disapproval of the development that has taken a huge toll on the country both financially and materially.
Members of the association marched through the PTML Customs Command - Tin Can Island Port access road to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Apapa, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) headquarters, Marina, Lagos and ended up at the Government House, Alausa, Ikeja.
MAJAN Members Protesting
At the Tin Can Customs Command, MAJAN, through its President, Mr. Ray Ugochukwu, handed over its protest letter to the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), to the Customs Area Controller, Bashar Yusuf, who was represented by the Command’s image maker, Mr. Uche Ejesieme.
Ejesieme said the CAC would have loved to address the protesting journalists but regretted that his boss was in a meeting with some stakeholders outside the area but assured that the letter would be promptly delivered.
The protest train later moved to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Western Zone, and the Apapa Customs Command to lodge similar complaints about the traffic gridlock with the display of placards with various inscriptions denouncing the Apapa gridlock..
At the NPA, Marina headquarters, the protest letter for the Managing Director, Ms Hadza Bala Usman, was received on her behalf by Mr. Musa Illiya, the Assistant General Manager (AGM), Public Affairs, who promised to deliver the letter to his boss.
At the Governor’s office, Alausa, Ikeja, MAJAN presented a petition to the President Muhammadu Buhari through the Governor for onward delivery to the President.
In his speech, the President of MAJAN, Mr. Ugochukwu, said the traffic gridilock in Apapa, apart from killing business, it had sent many people to their early graves through motorcycle accidents as motor bike had become the only means of transport in the area.
He said this was unacceptable; hence the group has resolved to continue the protest till the menace was totally and comprehensively addressed.