…As FG lifts Apapa gridlock by reopening Leventis Bridge***
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will impose the death penalty on convicted drug traffickers within the next two months after he vowed to free the country from the drug menace by 2020, local media reports said on Thursday.
Sirisena informed the parliament on Wednesday that he was determined to impose capital punishment by hanging the convicted drug criminals as part of his anti-narcotics drive.
Sri Lanka’s Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale informed the parliament on Tuesday that her ministry had complied with the president’s request to restart capital punishment.
Atukorale added that five names of drug convicts had been sent to the president between October 12 and the end of January.
However, Sirisena was yet to sign the warrants and fix the execution dates.
Although capital punishment is a legal penalty in Sri Lanka, there have been no executions carried out since 1976.
In the meantime, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has reopened the remaining stretch of Leventis Bridge in Apapa.
The outward bound stretch of the bridge was reopened on Wednesday evening, after about eight months of rehabilitation.
The Federal Government had in December 2018 reopened one of the closed bridges in the area, the Ijora/Apapa Bridge, five months after it was closed down for repairs.
The Director of Highways, South West, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Funsho Adebiyi, who declared it open, said it would decongest traffic into and out of Apapa.
Adebiyi said the gridlock had been a source of concern to everyone, adding, “Hopefully, the gridlock will end today as this section will be open so we can have the two-way traffic.”
He said that section of the bridge was shut for repairs after a fire incident caused by illegal occupants under the bridge, which he said weakened the slabs at the Leventis end.
“Some of our citizens live under the bridge illegally and carry out a lot of commercial activities and they do sales of petroleum products and in the process, there was fire outbreak which became so severe that it affected the structural integrity of this bridge and a section started failing,” he said.
Adebiyi said people living under the bridge should relocate as the appropriate law enforcement agencies would be contacted to enforce their evacuation.
The Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mr Adedamola Kuti, said residents around the area, as well as other road users, should expect a better flow of traffic.
According to him, the next project will be the repair of some of the expansion joints that are already damaged on the bridge, and which will be maintained regularly.
Kuti said the Federal Government had series of maintenance work on bridges in Lagos, adding that the Leventis Bridge was about the fourth to have been completed in the state.
“We have completed works on the Marine Beach Bridge, Coconut Bridge expansion works; Ijora/SevenUp Bridge; and now we have done the Leventis Bridge. Work is ongoing on Alaka Bridge in Surulere and on Third Mainland Bridge. Repair works are ongoing on several roads in Lagos, such as the Lagos-Ibadan; Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta; and Ikorodu-Sagamu,” he said.
Additional report from Punch