Apapa traffic : Truck drivers recount ordeals in the hands of robbers

As the chaotic traffic continues to linger along the port access roads, truck drivers have decried the constant attacks on them and the vandalisation of their vehicles and goods by hoodlums.

Speaking with Vanguard Maritime Report, some of the truck drivers said hardly can one find a truck driver that had not experienced an attack on the highway both during the day and at night, as these hoodlums threaten them daily with guns, weapons and other ammunition. The drivers said the hoodlums do away with every valuable thing they have and at times they also loot the containers and carry the goods. A choked-up section of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, taken over by trucks.

One of the truck drivers who spoke with Vanguard Maritime Report on the issue, Adekanmi Oyeshina, said, “I have been attacked several times; I was even attacked three days ago on this same spot.

“The container was empty then so they took my phones and money. During attack, the robbers do pack goods in the container as well especially when we are travelling to places like Kano. “At least I have up to four or five friends who got robbed of goods in their containers and when the armed robbers loot the containers, they found out that it was filled with clothes.” He also said that they do not usually see whatever is loaded in the container until they get to their destination and it is offloaded in their presence. Similarly, Adebayo Olufemi who revealed he just got licensed as truck driver, gave an experience of his colleague.

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“I have never been attacked before but according to what I have heard, attacks usually occur whenever we travel via wharf road to Apapa whether the driver is sleeping or not, in the day and night; the robbers are always attacking truck drivers there. “They will remove the tyres of the truck take their phones and money even from Ojota to Apapa that is where we have the worst attacks. We do not see whatever we carry unless we get to our destination and the container is offloaded in our presence, that is when we see what we have been carrying. “Even the Customs do not check the goods if our particulars are intact.

If our particulars are not intact we would not be allowed to move out of Apapa. Even if the driver manages to leave Apapa, he will still encounter some Custom officers before he gets to his destination. We usually load at wharf, second gate, terminal and others,” he said. In the same vein, Ogundare Richard revealed he had also been attacked.

He noted that the armed robbers do threaten them with sharp items or weapons and would order them to surrender their belongings or else they will use their weapons on them. Similarly, a truck driver who simple identified himself as Jacob, said that they have been victims of several attacks on the containers. He stated: “I was attacked one night here at Alakija and I did not even know when it happened until I got to the place where I was to offload the goods and found out that the container key has being cut off with a cutter and several cartoons of powdered milk was carted away.

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“I was arrested and put in jail for about three weeks to one month until investigations were made and it was discovered that I was robbed before they released me. “Am not the only person that have been attacked. Several people have also been attacked on this road.” Also another truck driver, Musa said “I was attacked and they took everything I had with me, they took my money, my wristwatch, my chains, even my clothes and two of my extra tyres, they left me with nothing because that very day my container was empty, so they took away all my personal belongings.”

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