A scene from the incident


Hell was almost let loose in Apapa area of Lagos Wednesday as irate truck drivers set branches of Diamond Bank and Sterling Bank located on Burma Road ablaze.

This development gave rise to serious pandemonium in the area, which is close to the nation’s largest cargo seaport, the Lagos Ports Complex, Apapa.

An eyewitness, who spoke to our reporter, said trouble started when a truck driver parked his vehicle close to the bank premises to wait for his turn to enter the port terminal to pick cargo.

According to the eyewitness, a Police officer on guard warned him not to park the in front of the bank, which he said posed a security threat to the financial institution.

It was gathered that this gave rise to an argument between the Police officer and the driver, who ordered to remove the truck from the place.

It was further gathered that the refusal of the driver infuriated the officer, who allegedly shot the driver at close range, thus killing him on the spot.

The eyewitness further said that following the death of the driver, whose identity is yet still unknown as at the time of filing this report, his colleagues mobilised and stormed the Diamond Bank branch premises, having been told that the officer ran into the premises.

The seemingly uncontrollable truck drivers set the bank ablaze instantly.

Sources also say that the inferno spilled into another branch of Sterling Bank also located on Burma Road and destroyed part of the building.

The ensuing thick flames from the two burning buildings gave rise to pandemonium, which left many scampering for safety, thus making the Police to shoot sporadically into the air to disperse the rampaging truck drivers.

Apart from the dead driver, it could not be confirmed if there were other human casualties at press time.

It was also not possible to reach the Area Commander, Port Police Command, Presley Dode.

Meanwhile, stakeholders have been speaking on the incident, as many of them have blamed it on the lack of truck terminal in Apapa.

A stakeholder, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Nigeria remains the only country with several seaports without any truck terminal for trucks that go in and out of the ports to lift and drop cargo.

The stakeholder argued that the issue was made worse by the failure or refusal of the shipping companies to establish holding bays for their empty containers, a development that has left the truck drivers to park on the roads with the attendant gridlock.

This gridlock however took a turn for the worse with the commencement of repair works on major port access roads such as Wharf Roads, thus making the drivers to park their trucks on adjoining streets.