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Motorists lament man-hours wasted at ‘Toyota’ gridlock

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A taxi being pulled out of the crater as motorists endure hours in traffic to navigate through the bad spot at Toyota bus-stop, Apapa-Oshodi expressway, Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLA

For about two weeks, access to the nation’s foremost and busiest airport, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, from the Toyota bus-stop end of the Apapa-Oshodi expressway, has been figuratively through the eye of a needle.

A burgeoning pothole, which is turning to a crater by each passing day, has made movement on that axis from Iyana Isolo inwards Oshodi, a nightmare to motorists.

The huge pothole at the foot of the bridge leading to the airport is the sole cause of the severe logjam stretching for a long distance and the attendant road rage motorists face meandering through the traffic.

The constant pool of flood at the spot makes the case worse for drivers as they often misjudge the location, size and depth of the crater.

With the state government paying a blind eye to their ordeal, dispirited motorists have raised their voices over the continued neglect to fix the pothole.
They have appealed to the appropriate authorities to do the needful and save road users hours of man-hours lost daily in the avoidable traffic.

The bad spot keeps motorists for close to three hours in traffic between Iyana Isolo and Toyota bus-stop, not only for the airport bound road users, but also for those going to Oshodi and those accessing the Ladipo auto spare-parts market, including the firms at around the axis.

Earlier in the week, a container, which just offloaded its wares at the Ladipo market, fell into the ditch while trying to connect to the expressway, causing gridlock that kept motorists stranded for hours.

It is so bad that even on Sunday and on Tuesday when Nigerians marked Democracy Day, while other roads in Lagos were free of congestion, the spot was not spared of what has become a daily occurrence.

Many of the passengers, who highlighted from some of the commercial buses at Iyana-Isolo, trekked to Toyoto bus-stop to continue the journey to their various destinations, while others who remained in the traffic were sweating profusely due to the heat emanating from the buses.

When The Guardian spoke with some of the motorists, majority of them blamed the menace on bad governance, stating that if the appropriate authorities where up and doing, such a bad spot would not have been allowed to fester, causing untold hardship to road users in a very busy highway.

A bus driver who operates between Mile 2 and Airport Road, Taiwo Fagbenle, lamented that the gridlock is seriously affecting his business. He said the gridlock has kept him on the spot, when he could have gone for two more trips.

“I have spent two hours between Iyana Isolo and Toyota bus-stop. If not for the gridlock, I would have gone for another trip. Now that we are in the rainy season, it is worse because the bad spot keeps expanding. Government needs to come to our aid, else this gridlock will extend to Ilasa.

A car owner, Chika Ejiofor, who works in a beverage firm at Okota, said the gridlock gives him ill health anytime she approaches the area. According to her, “government should do something quickly because I cannot contend with this continued gridlock. I feel headache any time I am approaching Toyota bus-stop because of this traffic jam.

“The other day, a guy from Toyota almost broke my windscreen as the heavy spare part he was carrying fell off from him. Also, recently, my colleague was robbed of her phone while she was receiving a call at this bad spot,” she said.

Another driver who identified himself as Emeka Ibe, told The Guardian that it is when a container falls and kills someone that government will repair the road after lives have been lost.

“Let us watch and see, government will not do anything until this bad spot sucks someone’s blood.

Most of these Ladipo boys will watch you fall into the ditch so that they will siphon money from you.

Last week, I spent N1,000 for them to help me pull my vehicle from the pothole. Government should do something quickly and save us this stress,” he said.


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