Acme Road, Ikeja, Lagos State, on Wednesday was shut to vehicular movement due to a stakeholders’ meeting of the state All Progressives Congress at the party’s secretariat on the road.
It was gathered that the meeting was held to reach a conclusion on who would represent the party in the upcoming local government election in the state.
A large number of commuters, some of whom carried loads, were forced to trek long distance as no private or commercial vehicle was allowed to operate on the route, while traffic snarls spread to adjoining roads.
Motorists, whose workplaces were around the First Gate area, which directly connected the road, had to take a detour, thereby spending hours to reach their destination in the gridlock that the Acme Road’s closure caused.
The blockade stretched from Victorious Army Ministry International, a church, to a filling station – Magic FX – on the other end of the road.
PUNCH Metro learnt that while the road had been blocked since 7am, the meeting, which was attended by the party stalwarts, including a national leader of APC, Bola Tinubu, did not commence until 12pm.
A businessman, Jacob Ajele, condemned the closure. He described it as crude, saying there was no prior notice before the decision was taken.
Ajele said, “I was going to Alausa from Agege. Policemen stopped the vehicle I boarded before the APC Secretariat. I trekked, thinking that I would get another vehicle. The blockade is not proper. This is a major road. So, if you are blocking such a road on a working day, you can imagine what is being done to the economy of this area. Many people are not aware of this.
“It is disappointing; people came out of their houses to work only to encounter this kind of gridlock on the road they pass every day. Vehicles travelling from the East also pass through this route to Iyana Ipaja. How would the travellers feel if they get here this morning (Wednesday) and meet the road blocked? The world is more civilised than to do things this way.”
A secretary in an insurance firm, Blessing Allison, lamented that she had to trek from Ogba, as commercial vehicles refused to take passengers heading for First Gate.
She said, “It was unbearable. I left home around 7am. I was at the park in Ogba for two hours, waiting to board a bus. Bus drivers said they were not coming down here because of the blockade. I had no choice but to trek. I was supposed to resume work by 8am or 8.30am, but it is after 10am already.”
A commuter, who identified himself as Daniel Afolabi, said many commercial drivers at Pen Cinema did not work to avoid the gridlock caused by the blockade on other adjoining roads.
“I trekked from Pen Cinema to this place. Whatever they are doing, they don’t need to inconvenience others. They don’t need to block the road since they are using the secretariat premises for their meeting,” he added.
A company worker, who identified himself only as Chidi, said, “Our society is far from civilisation. There was no notice that the road would be blocked so that people could make other arrangements. I had to trek several meters from our branch office around Surulere Industrial Road to this place (First Gate).”
The party spokesman, Joe Igbokwe, could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, Ambode at the event urged members of the APC in the state to ensure that the party win all available elective positions in the July 22 local government election.
Ambode said it was important for the party to come out tops in the election, adding that it would go a long way to ensure that the state continued to make steady progress.
While attributing his success in the 2015 gubernatorial elections to the dedication of party members and chieftains of the party, especially Tinubu, Ambode said the members must again ensure victory for the APC in the LG polls.
“I want to implore all of us; just the same way we have done in the last two years; my call to all members of our great party is that all 57 local government and 37 local council development areas must be won by the APC,” the governor said.
Tinubu, in his speech, urged members to accept the decision of the party in respect to the LG election.