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Agony as motorists, residents decry deplorable Ajao Estate roads

By Benjamin Alade
20 September 2019   |   3:07 am
Residents of Ajao Estate, and other road users in that flank of Isolo Local Council of Lagos State, are counting their losses over the gradual deterioration of roads in the area.

The deplorable state of Alhaji Lukman Atobajeun street.

Residents of Ajao Estate, and other road users in that flank of Isolo Local Council of Lagos State, are counting their losses over the gradual deterioration of roads in the area.

The road, which serves as an alternative for many motorists heading to neighbouring towns like Ejigbo, Jakande gate, Ikotun, Oke-Afa, Ijegun, Orisunbare Idimu, Egbeda and other environs find the route unbearable and in shambles.

The long and unfriendly stares from drivers and commuters, the long queue of stranded passengers at major bus-stops like Five Star, 7 and 8 and Ajao junction, the weary look on pedestrians trekking long distances to beat the traffic and the short supply of commercial tricycles and motorcycles all tell the story of pain, anguish and frustration from sunrise to sunset.

At a point, the vehicles also resist further torture by packing up. Many vehicles are seen parked off the road with their bonnets raised, due mainly to overheated engines.

While some residents and business owners, in a bid to remedy the situation, had tasked themselves to fix some of the roads to a manageable state, the roads are at best craters that damage vehicles and cause residents and motorists anguish, and discomfort.

The daily worsening condition of the roads, which have seen potholes taking over them, have got the residents wondering whether state and local government authorities still exist.

According to residents, the increasing number of potholes, apart from the incessant traffic gridlock that it causes, and the wear and tear resident’s vehicles are subjected to, causes them and commuters to spend lengthy periods on the road, especially during peak hours.

A visit to streets like Asa Afariogun, Ajibade Babatola, Ahanor Drive, Chivita Avenue, Alhaji Lukman Atobajeun among others will leave a first time visitor or investor to the city with the worst type of impression about the state government and authorities involved.

Some hotel owners have resorted to rehabilitating the roads such as Fatai Taiwo and Awoniyi Elemo leading to the entrance of their complexes leaving the remaining parts in utter decay since government has failed to do their work.

The pain is further aggravated by the state of the inner-city roads adjoining the route along the express. Commercial buses drive against traffic with reckless abandon. The situation has made some car owners abandon their vehicles at home and trek to their destinations.

Some of the business owners, who spoke to The Guardian, want government and the authorities in charge to swiftly come to their aide as the bad spot are causing more pains and losses for their businesses.

A retailer, Felix James said whenever it rains, the whole environment tends to be in a mess.

James, who works in a pharmacy along Alhaji Lukman Atobajeun Street, said it has become stress for him mopping the floor as customers’ troop into the store with dirt due to the messy road.

He said some of the potholes get vehicles immovable and in trying to help out, they vehicles end up splashing stink water on the shops around and other motorist plying the route.

James also mentioned that the road at peak hours causes gridlock which last for as long as three hours or more on the route.

An artist, who identified himself as John, said most times himself and his neighbours make palliative measures in trying to fill the potholes with stones and sand to enable free flow of traffic.

John, who displays his artistic works in front of his shop, said the measure is being taken to avoid motorists splashing water on his designs, which he showcases for potential customers and passerby.

According to him, some motorists last month came with cement and sand to fill up the holes only to find the rains wash away the palliative measures.

Another business owner, Joseph Joe Links, said the road has barred some of his customers accessing his shop.

Joseph who runs a laundry business said customers whom he shares relations with sometimes call him to collect orders in their homes, which is not convenient for him.

He said because of the gridlock that emanates from the bad spots, he finds motorists shouting and yelling at each other. He said government has not done anything on the road, only last year churches around and business owners contribute money to buy two tippers of sand to fill the potholes.

He said: “Sometimes we see government officials coming to measure or inspect the road but thereafter there are no changes. This morning we have pushed nothing less than four vehicles. The bad road is a disadvantage to us; it is causing us more pains. We keep mopping our floors all the time due to customers coming in and out of our stores.”