APC rally: Lagos govt makes U-turn on road closure during Buhari’s visit

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Following the apprehension that has greeted the scheduled visit of President Muhammadu Buhari for the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential rally on Saturday, the Lagos State government has reversed its earlier announcement that there would be restriction of movement on 18 roads.

The Lagos state government has now come out to announce that no road in the state will be closed ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit on Saturday.

The state’s Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Ladi Lawanson, made the announcement while speaking with journalists at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa on Friday.

Recall that on Thursday, the state government had announced that movement on 18 roads in the state would be diverted because of the president’s visit. Some of the roads earlier announced to be shut include: Funsho Williams Avenue, Surulere Lawanson/Itire /Tejuosho road Apapa/Costain road Abebe village Eric Moore road Eko Bridge/Apongbon Marina road Ikorodu road Mobolaji Bank Anthony way Old Toll Gate/Third Mainland Bridge/Obalende Airport road Oshodi-Oworonshoki expressway Agege Motor road Jibowu area Yaba/Muritala Mohammed way Iddo/Otto Herbert Macaulay way Adekunle and Ijora Olopa.

But Lawanson, who is also a member of the transport sub-committee for the presidential visit and the APC rally, urged Lagosians to jettison an earlier announcement by the committee to the effect that there would be road closures, stressing that no disruption of normal activities would take place on any road in the state.

He, however, urged residents to desist from the Teslim Balogun Stadium where the president would hold his campaign rally if they have no business along that axis.

The Commissioner said: “Lagosians have been very apprehensive that there will be traffic gridlock and we got a lot of feedbacks that we intend to grind Lagos to a halt. People are apprehensive; they think we are going to shut down Lagos; they think movement would be restricted and they are bracing themselves for what they anticipate would be the hardship that would be visited on them by the president’s visit and our own activities.

“The purpose of this press conference is to clarify that and to state emphatically that there will be from zero to minimal adverse effect of the President’s visit tomorrow. I repeat, there will be between zero to the barest minimum amount of disruptions to the normal movement that Lagosians undertake on a Saturday like tomorrow.

“So, there will not be any road closures in Lagos tomorrow and Lagosians are free to go about their normal businesses tomorrow, Saturday.”

He said adequate arrangement is in place to ensure free flow of traffic, but that residents should expect tight security around the routes which the President is expected to pass through in the course of his visit and the venue of the rally.

Lawanson addressed the briefing alongside Wale Musa, the General Manager of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), and Hyginus Omeje, the Lagos State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), said there would be huge presence of officials of the police, LASTMA, FRSC and other agencies to ensure free flow of traffic around the Surulere axis.

“Around the venue of the rally which is the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere and the adjourning streets are traffic management agencies such as LASTMA, FRSC, Police and other agencies that would support them tomorrow.

“They will handle the traffic management around the venue tomorrow and so people can expect to see a huge presence of our traffic management officers fully on ground to ensure that there is free flow of traffic. We consider it important to clarify this so that we can communicate to Lagosians and give them the assurance that Lagos and, especially Surulere, would not be on lockdown,” the Commissioner said.

Also speaking, Musa said LASTMA would deploy tow trucks to promptly evacuate any broken down vehicle and adequate personnel to tackle any gridlock that may arise from the President’s visit and the activities around Surulere.

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