Come to our aid, Aboru Oki Communities tell Ambode
When the road to Aboru, from Iyana Ipaja in Lagos State was given a face-lift some years ago, residents of Iyana Ipaja, Aboru, Powerline and others living along the Oki Road axis heaved a sigh of relief and assumed that their predicament would soon end.
They also believed that the development would put paid to the ugly days of destruction of lives and property, which was caused by the overflow of the canal around the poorly constructed bridge along Oki Road, under which the Abattoir canal passes to other locations.
All these were at a time when the makeshift bridge that serviced thousands of residents of the Aboru Oki area was made of wooden planks, and its users were exposed to grave danger any time it rained heavily.
Even though the state government reconstructed the bridge with concrete about seven years ago, the job was poorly executed such that the entire vicinity is still flooded during heavy downpours.
The general condition of the road, right from Iyana Ipaja, to Aboru, up to Powerline, suggests that it is in dire need of immediate rehabilitation having also been shabbily done like the bridge.
In testifying to the poor condition of the road, Vice Chairman, Oki Central Community Development Association (CDA) Mr. Akintade Yisau, said even though work had been done on the road, the present condition of the road suggests that it had long been abandoned by relevant authorities.
According to him, because of the pathetic state of the road, motorcycle operators always contest for space with pedestrians even during the dry season.
Kehinde Akinosi, a landlord on Adeleye Street, one of the link roads in the neighbourhood insists that there is urgent need to rehabilitate the road because of its importance as one of the channels that facilitate decongestion of traffic whenever there is a snarl at Iyana Ipaja.
“If Adeleye Street and other inner roads that link Shagari Estate to Meiran are graded and tarred, traffic snarl at Iyana Ipaja would be reduced to the barest minimum,” he said.
Mama Ore, a prominent trader, who lives within the axis, while lamenting the state of the road, remarked that road users are subjected to immense pains whenever it rains.
“The pains encountered by road users on account of the constant traffic jam at Iyana Ipaja would come to an end if urgent attention is paid to the rehabilitation of Iyana Ipaja-Aboru Road, as well as upgrading the link roads in the area, including Adeleye Street. Alabede and Akinola streets are major link roads that connect this area to the Oshodi-Abeokuta Expressway. These roads should be upgraded,” she appealed.
Ewenla Adepoju, who resides around the Aboru Oki bridge, in confirming the loss of lives and property occasioned by the overflowing canal said: “A lot of accidents have been recorded whenever that portion of the road is flooded, and this is the reason we are calling on the state government to come to our aid.”
A commercial motorcyclist, Wasiu, in narrating his experiences plying the road said: “The kind of stress we are going through on this road as motorcycle operators cannot be explained. So, we implore the government to come to our rescue because the suffering is much. As commercial motorcycle operators, we are not praying for the rains to start coming because of what we face on the road whenever it rains.”
His colleague, Kayode, who described plying Aboru Road as a “very unpleasant” experience said, “Many of us have had our motorcycle tyres damaged because of the deplorable state of the road. Also when it rains heavily, those of us at this side of Iyana Ipaja are cut off from those at the other side of Aboru.
“A lot of accidents are also recorded whenever it rains as the motorcyclists attempt to meander their way. This is the reason we are calling on the state government to kindly consider rehabilitating the road,” he said.
Oki Central CDA Chairman/Welfare Officer, Community Development Committee, Elder Rasaki Emmanuel Jinadu, said the bridge has for years remained a major problem of the road.
According to him, “We have been complaining about the bridge since the days of Governor Babatunde Fashola. About six years ago, Fashola sent his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Remi Ibirogba, and representatives from Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area to inspect the shaky bridge. Since that inspection visit, nothing has been done about the bridge.
“We have not only written to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on the same problem, but also protested to Alausa about two months ago. There, we were addressed by the Deputy Speaker, Eshinloku Sanni Wasiu, who promised to look into the construction of a new bridge. He was with another member of the House, Bisi Yusuf. We are still waiting for their promise to be fulfilled.”
Wasiu, who explained that the big canal, which begins from Abattoir, is among the seven canals, from Meiran, and Ijaiye Ojokoro that empty into Iyana Aboru Canal at Oki Road.
“The contractor that has been dredging the canal has been going about it haphazardly by leaving dug up debris at the edge of the bridge. These debris promptly find their into the canal during rainfall, a development that leads to constant overflow of the canal.
“This is what makes the area to flood whenever there is a downpour. While that is being addressed, the bridge, which is also a major source of worry to us should be addressed alongside the canal because if it is allowed to finally collapse, the entire Aboru axis would not only be cut off from the rest of the state, but economic activities in that area, and the Iyana Ipaja axis would also be halted.
“I also appeal that the link roads that would reduce the incessant traffic jams at Iyana Ipaja should be upgraded. If the government takes pains to upgrade Ige, Raji Rasaki, Sotunde and Adeleye streets, as well as, rehabilitate Iperu Akesan Street, all vehicles coming from Abeokuta and Sango can drive through Raji Rasaki Street, and venture out at Iyana Aboru, having left Iyana Ipaja behind. Motorists can also before getting to Iyana Aboru, enter through Adeleye Street to link up Iperu Akesan, veer off to Sotunde Street, come out at Alimosho, and head to Ipaja or Egbeda.
“We implore Governor Ambode to rehabilitate the link roads and rebuilding the bridge. The time is right for the government to fix these problems before the rains set in.