The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has directed its members to shut down all seaports in the country and begin a three-day warning strike from Monday, December 7, to protest the total takeover of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway by heavy-duty trucks, thereby inflicting untold hardship on other road users.
The Union is disenchanted by the deplorable state of the access roads to the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports, which have claimed several lives and caused incalculable man-hour loss among other dangers as a result of unending gridlock.
The three-day warning strike was one of the resolutions of the Union’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Lagos.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting by the President-General and Secretary-General of the Union, Comrade Adeyanju Adewale and Felix Akingboye, among others, said:
“The National Executive Council in-session wishes to draw the attention of the Federal Government once again to the deplorable state of the access roads to the Lagos seaports, and the dangers this pose to lives and properties.
“To avoid the continuous and unnecessary deaths as well as a loss of man-hour on the failed roads, the NEC in-session hereby calls on the Federal Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), to urgently fix the access roads and make them motorable.
“The NEC in-session unanimously approves the Central Working Committee (CWC) recommendation that the union proceeds on a three-day warning strike to bring to the public space our disappointment over the total neglect of the access roads to Lagos Ports by successive governments and the urgent need for government to repair the roads.”
While speaking on the planned three-day warning strike, Adewale said the three-day warning strike will be total.
“We cannot continue like this. From Second Rainbow to the ports in the last three weeks, it takes not less than five to seven hours to access the ports depending on when you get trapped.
“When you are leaving the ports, you even spend more hours from the ports to the same Second Rainbow. A lot of innocent lives have been lost, many have been maimed by hoodlums who rob and dispose victims of their belongings.
“At the end of the three-day warning strike, the response of government will determine our next line of action. On a daily basis, our members going to work go through torture as well as going home after work.
“Many of them do not get home until 12am or more. The same thing happens to other road users on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.
“Many businesses have relocated out of Apapa and its environs to neighbouring countries because of the failed access roads. The implications are huge to the Nigerian economy and employment creation.
“The government must address the condition of the roads and find a lasting solution to the gridlock,” he said.