Sunday , 25 September 2022
President Muhammed Buhari

Presidential visit: commuters face untold hardship as airlines delay flights to accommodate passengers

THE visit of the President of the Federal a Republic of Nigeria, Muhammad Buhari to Lagos state is not only causing untold hardship to commuters in the state but threatening to disrupt airline operations in the state.

The Lagos state government a few days ago announced a 2-day visit of the President and declared a public holiday to ameliorate the hardship that was bound to follow due to the massive constructions going on around the state and the fact that it had cordoned off certain areas for security reasons.

Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Imohimi Edgal announced the temporal closure of routes including Ikeja, Agege, Maryland, Ikoyi and Victoria Island, these affect areas around the environs from Iyana-ipaja, Egbeda, Ikotun, Airport Road, Yaba and a host of other places.

A situation report in some places around the state shows that workers who are not of the state government are having a hard time getting around as security agents have blocked strategic areas.

The Presidential Lounge is once again abuzz with activities as armed security details are scattered in and round the airport.

There is already a major traffic jam building around 7/8 along the airport road as vehicular movements have grounded to a halt, due to security presence directing and diverting traffic and the ongoing airport road construction.

A commuter who spoke on the Nigerianflightdeck platform, said he trekked from Mangoro all the way to the airport despite the fact he left home 5am.

According to him, there was no traffic flow as movement was halted between Ile-zik and PWD.

Airlines are however taking initiatives to ensure their passengers travelling do not get a raw deal out of the route blockages around the state.

According to Air Peace’s Chris Iwarah,”Reports reaching us say most of our guests are trapped in the huge traffic jam caused by the multiple diversions in Lagos. Since Lagos is our base, we had no choice than to consider their challenge.”

“Although our crew members are on ground, we are delaying most of the flights to accommodate some of those who are caught in traffic.
The situation is, however, causing huge disruptions in our operations.”

An official of one of the airlines said the traffic was going to have a negative effect on flight operations especially given that some morning flights have already been delayed slightly to accommodate people caught in traffic.

He said, ” we are currently chatting our passengers on what app and Twitter and they are asking of the current status. So we are doing the most reasonable thing, we are waiting for all of them. Nobody has access for now so we have to be considerate.”

Coupled with the fact that the visit coincides with the Easter holidays where people plan to travel to destinations, the visit and traffic lock jam has affected the dynamics of travel immensely.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria in a statement yesterday also informed passengers, airport users and the general public that the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, will visit Lagos State for two-days.

The Authority stated that commercial vehicles will only operate from 7am-7pm around the Murtala Muhammed Airport today, Wednesday 28, 2018 to allow smooth movement around the airport during the visit.

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