Every day, we live in fear of being crushed by falling containers –Motorists in Apapa

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Isaac Omoefe, a commercial motorcyclist, lives in fear of dying a horrible death daily. He goes out every day hoping it won’t be his last.

He works along Mile 2 – Apapa Port route, transporting passengers through a section of the route along the Oshodi/Apapa Expressway. That section of the road, from Berger Yard to First Gate bus stop, is currently in such a bad condition that only motorcycles, popularly known as ‘okada’, and trucks, which ferry heavy containers to and from the port, are able to ply the road. Normal vehicles, including commercial buses, are not using the road at the moment.

“There is no other work for me to do, and if I stay at home, who will give me money? When you have responsibilities you have to work no matter the risks involved. Any human being will die when it is time, and besides, some people sit at home and death still meet them there,” the okada man added when our correspondent asked why so many okada riders plied the road, despite the apparent risks involved.

Alas, the okadas had to share the road with container-laden trucks, which, despite the deplorable conditions, still made use of the road to and fro the Apapa Port. Pointing out a truck, which was lying on its side alongside the container it was carrying, Omoefe observed, “This one just fell down – it was not here when I passed this place some minutes ago.” Few metres away, another truck swayed and steadied intermittently as the container it was carrying appeared to be shift to one side. “That truck will fall any moment from now, you can see that it is already shaking,” Omoefe observed as he increased speed while driving past the vehicle.

Considering the risky nature of the route, our correspondent was surprised at the large number of commercial motorcycle riders, and passengers, on the road. He added, “I know so many okada riders that will not get near this place, no matter the amount you offer them. It is too risky and it is not everybody that will be willing to risk their lives. Whenever you are on the road, there is a big chance that a container will fall on you. Some of our colleagues have fallen victim in the past to this so some would rather operate on different routes that are not so risky.

Asked if he was not discouraged by that close shave, Agu smiled, and said, “Life is full of risks, you can’t make it if you don’t take risks.” “It is only God that protects us on this road,” he added. Checks by our correspondent at Trinity Police Station, and at the Apapa Port, suggested that there was no available record of the number of trucks that had fallen on the road. Also, a record of the number of deaths recorded on the road could not be obtained from the police station.

 

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