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Buhari’s visit closed roads, transportation fare increase, security strenghtened

President Muhammadu Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari,the President  of Nigeria, was on a two-day visit to Lagos State, Africa’s commercial capital on a two day visit where he commissioned the Ikeja Bus Terminal and attended a colloquium for the 66th birthday of APC chieftain, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

While in Lagos for his visit, his entrance into centre of excellence brought some sort of stress to some people.

These were people who were either sole proprietors or employees in a private firm which doesn’t recognised state holiday. However, some were forced to tell there staff to stay at home, knowing fully well of the traffic gridlock the visit would bring to the state.

Lagosian woke up to another round of traffic worry compounded by the security operatives who barricaded some parts of the road as early as 6a.

Our correspondent gathered that some people had to work from Abule Egba, Iyana Ipaja to Ile-Zik Bus stop before they were diverted to Agege, linking Medical Road to find their way to the mainland.

At Oshodi, it was an opportunity for the commercial drivers and conductors to make extra cash coming from increment in bus fare. The conductors charged commuters N500 for a trip to Iyana Ipaja , Abule Egba.

However, those who walks to Ladipo and Shogunle got it for a low prize.

Also, people who had flights to catch at the Airport had to trek along Mobolaji Bank-Anthony way due to President Buhari’s presence at the Ikeja Bus Terminal which he commissioned.

Our correspondent gathered that a number of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) personnel, the Nigeria Air Force (NAF), Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), have been deployed around the airport to beef up security in the area.

This made the commuters, who were stressed by the development to faulted the closure of the road leading to the Airport.

An aviation expert and a member of the Aviation Round Table, John Ojikutu, told NAN that: “Knowing that most flights outbound Lagos are between 7 a.m/7.30 a.m, the closure of the airport that is built within urban developed area like MMA should not have come before 7.30 a.m.

“Access control for vehicular movement should have been limited not beyond the roundabout near the Forte Oil and the roundabout near the Bisam Police Station.

“The experience of passengers into the airport today should not be on the president as most people would want.

“Rather, on the state government and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) mainly and FAAN which could have jointly assess the impact of the visit to the airport on the public,’’ Ojikutu, who is a retired Captain said.

Also speaking, two travellers, Ejike Agu and Augustine Iweh, told NAN that advanced notices should have been sent to travelers to enable them prepare for the inconveniences caused by the restriction.

“Some of us are going home for the Easter holidays and it is not good that we are treated this way. It took me hours to get to the airport as I had to trek from Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way,” Agu said.’

Iweh said he was lucky to get a cab driver who was able to navigate his way to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the airport in spite of the restriction.

“But it cost me N5,000; At least, I got here without too much stress unlike some other people,’’ he said.

Apart from the fact that it forms the topic of discussion within that period; another incident that always heralds such visit is heavy traffic jam, most especially in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria known with hectic traffic.

Also, there is always massive presence of police and other security apparatus such as the military, with the onus of ensuring orderliness and secured environment that will provide conducive environment for the visit.