Wednesday, 27th September 2023

Complete abandoned drainage project, residents tell Sanwo-Olu

By Debo Oladimeji
09 April 2023   |   3:43 am
For residents of Aliowe Housing Estate, Ipakodo- Ikorodu, Lagos, the recently commissioned Oba Sekumade Road would bring great relief to the commuters spending productive hours in endless gridlock.

Abandoned drainage project

Say It’s negatively affecting livelihoods

For residents of Aliowe Housing Estate, Ipakodo- Ikorodu, Lagos, the recently commissioned Oba Sekumade Road would bring great relief to the commuters spending productive hours in endless gridlock.

However, while applauding Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for completing the road, they appealed to the governor to ensure the completion of an abandoned canal project, which has been negatively affecting lives and businesses in the community.

Specifically, the residents of Alliyu Musa Street expressed worry that the abandoned drainage project has rendered the street impassable since September 2021.

A resident, Mr. Rotimi Oyedele regretted that the abandoned project has affected business activities. “We really appreciate Lagos State government for the construction of Oba Sekumade Road in Ipakodo, Ikorodu, but the other aspect is the abandonment of the canal project that was channelled to Alhaji Alliyu Musa Street. Many houses were demolished for this canal to be constructed.

“The contractor has since abandoned the project. The project, apart from disrupting business activities and making life difficult for residents, commuting to and from places of work has now been turned into a death trap for both adults and children. We appeal to the governor, being the people’s governor, to use his good office to compel the contractor to complete the work without further delay.”

Owolabi Okeowo of 13 Alliyu Musa Street, regretted that the project has been unattended to for about four months before Sanwo-Olu commissioned the Oba Sekumade Road a fortnight. We planned to be at the venue of the commissioning to protest, but some engineers came to see the abandoned project, promising that they will convey our message to the governor.

“They promised to come on Monday with a caterpillar to grade the road. Unfortunately, it was not done. We only saw people who came to inspect the road from the state secretariat, Alausa, who promised something would be done soon. They said that the state government would pay the contractor to continue the work. We implore the government to come to our aid because there is no easy access to our houses anymore.

We are also calling on the Arab Contractors, the firm that constructed Oba Sekumade Road, to open the section that connects our street with Oba Sekumade Road.”

Alhaji Musa Alliyu of 13, Alhaji Musa Alliyu Street recalled that it has been about one and half years since the project commenced. “From the way they came, we knew it was the government that was behind the project and we were very happy. They said that they were going to construct the drainage and afterwards, they will use the opportunity to tar our road.

“We were told that the project was going to take about six months. We were surprised that since September 2021 when the work started, it has not been completed. We implore the government to expedite action on the work. Street urchins now snatch phones from our people because everywhere is now blocked. There is no freedom of movement. It is now a common sight to see reptiles entering people’s houses.

Another resident, Mrs. Adefemi Adeyinka, noted that the project has exposed many houses to marauders, because as a result of the project, the gates of some houses were removed.

“It has been pathetic. Scavengers come in to steal most of our things. The pace of the project has just been too slow. The contractors could work for two weeks and say they were out of cement, granite and all that,” she lamented.

She bemoaned the fact that they now have to go through the third street to theirs to drive into their street. “The road I am talking about is not even good. We knew how much we invested to make our street, but everything has been put on hold. The whole place is filled with grasses and reptiles. We can no longer walk on the road at night freely. It is like the work has been abandoned. Even our main gate, which cost us about a million naira was vandalised due to the project. Government ought to compensate the people whose properties were destroyed,” she said.

The Chairman of Alliyu Musa CDA, Mr. Ayo Johnson noted that though “the project is meant for the public interest, it should not be at our own discomfort. The government should please come to our aid, if they want us to believe government still cares for its citizens.

“We now park our cars on other peoples’ streets within the estate because we don’t have access to our compounds. We cannot quantify our losses. We expect the government to compensate us by helping to tar the road after the construction of the drainage and those whose properties were destroyed should be compensated.”

In his reaction, the engineer handling the project, Engr. Idowu Mustapha told The Guardian that as soon as the government releases more funds for the project, work would continue. He said that even before the governor came to commission the Oba Sekumade Road, they had taken some steps to make the government release funds for the project. “As soon as the government does that, work will continue. The people should bear with us,” he pleaded.