Motorists plying Funso Williams Avenue on the Lagos Mainland have criticised Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu over his inability to stop the dumping of impounded vehicles, hampering smooth traffic flow traffic at Iponri Bus Stop.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that government agencies, including the Police, Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) have turned Iponri Bus Stop into a junkyard of impounded vehicles.
Repeated outcries by motorists have yielded no positive result as the Lagos State Government appeared unable to compel the agencies to remove the impounded trucks left at the bus stops over the years.
The motorists are wondering why the State Government has not been able to prevail on the authorities of the Iponri Police Station to stop dumping impounded vehicles at the bus stop near the police station.
NAN reports that illegal parking of seized articulated trucks and other vehicles at the bus stop and other unapproved areas appear to constitute a major threat to security and the state’s Smart City initiative.
A NAN correspondent monitoring the illegal dumping of impounded vehicles observed that no fewer than 20 articulated had been dumped at the space meant for motorists to pick and drop passengers over the years.
Five months ago, authorities of FRSC and LASTMA swiftly removed some trucks impounded by them and left on the road but more vehicles have since been impounded and left on the highway.
Authorities at the Iponri Police Station on their part, appear not to be bothered over complaints on their penchant for using impounded vehicles to block the busy road.
The Divisional Police Officer at the station, whose name was given simply as Mr Ogunlaja, was furious when NAN correspondents took him up on why the impounded trucks were being left at the bus stop.
“You’re asking me why the trailers are being parked here. Is it your job to be looking into this kind of matter,’’ a visibly angry Ogunlaja asked, when he was told that it was wrong to leave seized trucks on the highway.
Motorists plying the road, who spoke to NAN on the development, complained about the dumping of vehicles on the road, appealing to Sanwo-Olu to investigate why the police and the other agencies have insisted on parking seized vehicles on the roads.
A legal practitioner, Mr Wale Akande, said: “converting a bus stop to a dumping ground for all kinds of impounded vehicles is bad, just bad.
“Do the authorities who engage in this kind of illegality want to say they don’t know that this is absurd and that they are preventing other road users from accessing the bus stop?
“All I can say is that if this menace is not being backed and supported by the State Government, all it requires is the governor’s directive and sanity will come.
“We cannot be living as if we are in a lawlessness society. The government should bite.
Motorist Bayo Babalola, told Sanwo-Olu to show interest in the condition of lay-bys and bus stops across the state as part of efforts to rid the state of nightmares of traffic gridlocks.
“If I am not mistaken, this situation has been there for quite some time.
“Impunity like this can only happen in Nigeria for a long period of time because those that will stop it never come out to check things for themselves.
“I think the way out of this kind of menace is for the governor and the commissioner for transport to be paying unscheduled visits to various areas of the state at different times to see things for themselves.
“I will advise Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to issue directive on this Iponri menace and monitor the clearing of all obstructions at this bus stop,” Babalola said.
A tricycle operator, Mr Saheed Abdullahi, said that any driver that wanted to park at Iponri Bus Stop now could not do so because everywhere had been over by impounded trucks.
Abdullahi, who also urged Sanwo-Olu to visit the area, saying that the nightmare at the bus stop had lingered for too long.
His colleague, Taiwo Kayode said that the blockage of the bus stop had made it impossible to pick commuters at the bus stop.