Lagosians bemoan disruption to commercial activities following upheaval caused by Buhari's visit

LAGOSIANS are up in arms over the paralysing of commercial activity in the metropolis today after a public holiday was declared and several major roads were shut to accommodate a visit by President Muhammadu Buhari.


President Buhari is in Lagos State on an official state visit, where he will commission several infrastructural projects including the Ikeja Bus Terminal and the Badagry Deep Sea Port. As is always the case in Nigeria, presidential visits disrupt activities due to the heavy security mounted, so the Lagos State government declared a public holiday and also shut several main roads in the city of Lagos.


As early as 5am, commercial buses and other unauthorised vehicles were restricted from plying the Agege Motor Road, Airport Road, Mobolaji Bank-Anthony Way and other link roads. Some travellers and commuters said they were subsequently forced to walk long distances to the Murtala Mohammed Airport to catch their flights, following movement restrictions by security operatives.


This has also affected the operations of domestic airlines, who have had to delay their flights for about an hour to enable stranded passengers to catch up. Local airline Air Peace, empathised with its customers over the situation but urged them to remain calm, while they monitor the development and take steps to minimise the impact of the resulting disruptions.


An Air Peace spokesman said: “We empathise with our esteemed guests who are having a challenge accessing the airport to catch their flights due to the diversion of traffic at various points In Lagos. This is currently affecting flights out of our base in Lagos despite the availability and readiness of our crew to operate their flights."


Similarly, Arik Air appealed to passengers already checked in on its 8am Lagos to Port Harcourt flight to exercise patience with other passengers yet to arrive due to the movement restrictions. Henrietta Yakubu, the, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria spokesperson, explained that the restriction on commercial vehicles was to allow smooth movement during the president’s visit.