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Road Experiences Of Lagos/Ogun Border Communities

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WITH the arrival of the rainy season, the nightmare and challenges of residents of Itele, Ayetoro Budo, Ayobo and other communities, along the Lagos/Ogun State borders have been multiplied, as a result of the deplorable state of their roads.

It is an understatement to say that these communities have been marginalised for long. Their positioning, in-between two states, seems to alienate them from government’s infrastructural programmes. For now, it seems they are on their own. 

Right now, the road connecting these communities to Sango and Lagos is in very bad shape. From Oju-Ore through Afobaje to Lafenwa, the road is laden with several potholes, making vehicular movement very tasking.

Beyond this area, from Lafenwa Junction, through Itele, Ayetoro Budo to Ayobo, a thriving community in Lagos, passing through the road has become dreadful to motorists and other road users.
 
The early downpours recorded in the last few weeks have badly affected the road, making it impassable. Some residents working outside the area now prefer to stay either in Lagos or Sango to avoid the stress of getting to their homes, as the road is dotted with craters and pools of stagnant water.
 
Vehicles plying the road are easily identified by mud splash covering their tyres, bumpers and bodies. 
 
As the rains become heavier, the poor state of the road will bring more pain, hardship and suffering to the people.
 
When The Guardian visited the area last week, getting vehicles from Lafenwa to Ayobo or Sango Ota, took tortuous efforts. For several hours, vehicles could not move while people were stranded at bus stops, adding to the pain of fuel scarcity.
 
The situation was so bad that commercial motorcycle operators, popularly called Okada, could not even take the risk because of the state of the road. A commercial Volkswagen bus, popularly called Danfo that dared it regretted the attempt, as the vehicle fell into a ditch along the road. 
 
Shortly after leaving the Lafenwa Junction, there is a terrible ditch at Aparadija community, which had eaten a larger chunk of the road. It is an undulating erosion-ridden portion. Passengers on motorcycle would have to disembark and trek a distance while the motorcyclists would meander through a narrow bush path.
 
Isefun is another terrible spot that has been causing serious problem on the route. Each time it rains, that portion of the road becomes impassable, muddy and slippery.

The portion, a few metres away from the bridge, which serves as boundary between the two states towards, Ayetoro and beyond, is also in a sorry state. It is doubly bad that heaps of earth excavated from the drains and left on the roadside had occupied a stretch on that portion, thus reducing the size of the road.

Despite the importance of this road, on that axis, successive governments in both states have abandoned it. Many road users who ply this road have one ugly story or another to tell.
  
Journeying to Lagos from Itele, which shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes, for a distance of four kilometres, can take more than two hours.

The Lagos State government has manageably constructed its own part of the road, a construction work that took years to complete. For now, the construction work has stopped at Megida Junction in Ayobo area. It’s obvious that without Ogun State government’s prompt rehabilitation of its own side of the road, Lagos State government’s effort would be a waste because the road would continue to be impassable.
  
A member of the Itele Youth Forum, who gave his name as Segun, told The Guardian that the area had been neglected for long. He said aside the issue of bad roads; the area had been sidelined in the scheme of things, adding that past elective political office holders from the area did not help matters.

He stated that the experiences of residents have been pathetic, as they are forced to use the road since they have no option, adding that the rehabilitation of the road is beyond what the communities can do.



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