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Motorists, residents groan as Lagos roads deteriorate

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Whenever it rains in Lagos, residents are thrown into deep despair, sorrow, anguish and sadness, as already bad roads become almost impassable.

From the island to the mainland, the expressways to the inner streets, it is tale of neglect and abandonment, promises delayed or even out rightly forgotten, as Lagosians labour under the burden of dilapidated roads.

There is hardly any stretch of road that is totally free of potholes, including the recently repaired stretch between Cele and Iyana-Isolo on the Oshodi-Apapa expressway, which is already coming apart with a massive pothole at Sadiku, directly under the pedestrian bridge, at mechanic bus stop, Iyana-Isolo and 5-Star. The whole service lane on both sides of the express, from Charity to Oshodi has been condemned totally.

Agege Motor Road, especially the Mushin-Idi-Oro axis, is in a terrible state and even trailers are reluctant to pass through, as the potholes have gotten so big, causing vehicles to break down, thereby worsening the gridlock. Motorists sometimes get robbed by traffic robbers while slowing down at the bad spots.

A journey of minutes now takes hours as a result of bad roads across the state. It is now a common sight to see overturned trailers, tankers and containers and broken down vehicles on a daily basis, especially when it rains.

Speaking with The Guardian, Umar Uduma said: “Our road here, especially Agip Estate area towards Mobile Estate in Satellite Town is very bad. It spoils our motorcycle and destroys our engine.

“While riding, we have to be very careful so that the mud doesn’t splash on our passengers. “Government is not doing anything concerning the roads here, despite the fact that we have cried out several times”.

Brown Okparachi added: “The road from Orile to the Island and Badagry is nothing to write home about. A journey of 30 minutes has turned to four hours.

“Road safety and LASTMA officials are not helping matters; they do not do their work as it should be done, but rather look for motorists to extort and cause even more traffic.

“The rain makes things worse for us, as the road becomes filled with water and you won’t know where the potholes are.

“Government has been working on a project along Abule-Ado for some time now and it isn’t completed. Government should hasten the project, as this is another major cause of traffic.”

Timi Simeon, a resident of Badore, was very bitter when speaking with The Guardian. He fumed: “Government at the local level is practically useless, as it doesn’t do anything. Everyday, I have to park my car on the main road and walk home, because there is no road for the car to pass. If you try driving on the road, be prepared to spend all your money on mechanics.

“Government should please do something about this; we can’t keep living like this.” Fatuya Joshua, a student, said “you can hardly find a road without potholes now and this has contributed immensely to the high rate of accidents and deaths in Nigeria. Despite huge allocations for infrastructure yearly, the roads are getting worse everyday.

“Aside the bad roads issue, most roads lack proper road signs. Containers are not strapped or hooked properly to the trailer and many drive with bad tyres and no brakes. The road safety officials would not see them, but will always see private motorists.

“In conclusion, most contractors embezzle the money given to them for the job and end up constructing the roads with inferior materials, which at the end of the day increases the number of bad roads around.

“Government needs to wake up, something has to be done, as people are dying as a result of these roads.” The road leading to Gown Estate in Egbeda is terrible and plying it means regular visit to the mechanics.

Chief Gabriel Egbule said it has never been this bad, lamenting that it has been abandoned for too long, leading to its current state.

He appealed to government to come to the aid of the residents, motorists and those undertaking commercial activities in the area by fixing the road.

In like manner, Emeka Nmadichie, a can driver, told The Guardian that the dilapidated state of the road is a result of blocked underground drainage built in the middle of the road; hence when its rains, the entire road get flooded and gets worse over time.

“There is only one underground drainage and it is blocked, but that type of drainage is not what this road needs, because it is wide.

“The estate road needs a two-sided regular drainage that can easily be cleared when it is blocked,” he said.

Nmadichie added that the estate road is impassable when its rains because its get flooded to the brim such that pedestrians cannot even use the road.

Also speaking, a fashion designer in the estate (name withheld) said the road has been in total disrepair for the past four years and government has refused to do anything about it.

“Once it rains heavily and I am at home, I don’t bother coming to my shop, and if I am in the shop, I try to lockup as quickly as possible, so I don’t get trapped.

“So, a heavy rainy day for residents and business owners is shambles” she said. A resident of Ijegun in Alimosho Council, Peter Anene, said the road linking Ikotun with Igando, which was rehabilitated by the Bola Tinubu administration, are now full of potholes.

“Hooligans on motorcycles take advantage of the deplorable condition of the roads to attack passengers at night, especially in traffic.

“I have been observing the deep potholes by Papa-Major bus/stop, they seem to be getting wider by the day and with the heavy rainfalls being experienced, the road might collapse any day from now.”

Joan Osemeke claimed that the water gathering in potholes is causing sickness for residents in her area.

“We have been treating ourselves of various kinds of sicknesses. The smell of the water is what irritates me the most, no fresh air because of the environment. Government should do something quickly about the roads,” he added.

Nana Oritsegbubemi said: “This issue of bad roads should be a thing of the past. Every time a new government comes in, they promise us that they will repair and make changes to the roads, but they end up doing nothing.”

He explained how devastating the traffic along Oshodi-Abeokuta expressway is: “They say they are constructing BRT lanes and this is causing very heavy traffic. People going to their places of business are stuck for hours on end, getting to their places of work very late.

“Government should have expanded the roads first before the BRT lane construction started.”

According to Ernest Ojelum: “All the roads in Isolo are complete disaster. Most of these potholes started small, but now they can swallow a small vehicle whole when it rains.

“Maintenance has always been our problem in Nigeria. It costs less to repair than to rebuild, but I guess it is a means of embezzling money for politicians.

“Government should help us by at least covering up the potholes temporarily.”

Aliyu Effiong said: “Government should come to our aid. It is frustrating and exhausting, especially when traffic keeps one on the road for hours.

“I rarely drive to walk, because it is tiring, driving for hours. So, I board public busses, which is very stressful.”

According to Promise Daudu: “I don’t really think the government is taking the issue of these bad roads serious. I honestly think the government should start working on it as soon as possible.

“Maintenance also goes a long way in preserving the lifespan of the roads.”

Thank God Ukachi berated the government, saying: “Governments are not doing what they are meant to do. The roads are bad; too many potholes and we end up visiting the mechanics often, spending money unnecessarily.

“I don’t know if the government has special arrangement with Lagos mechanics, because this is too much. Government should interlock the roads, especially Community road in Abule-Ado”.

Motorists plying the Odogunyan-Ogijo road in Ikorodu area are bitter and wondering why the state government has seemingly abandoned them to their fate.

Quadri Akomolafe told The Guardian: “Look at this road yourself and tell me if this is meant for humans or animals. How can a major road like this be this bad for years and despite all our cries and pleas, this place is still like this?

“This same road spoiled my car, so I took my wife’s car and it is already making strange noises. I don’t know what to do again, as we are now at the mercy of commercial motorcycles.

“Anytime rain falls early in the morning, I’m not going to work that day and if the rain falls before the close of work, I usually stay with my friend in Bariga.

“The other day when rain fell, danfo buses were charging Odogunyan N300 and 0gijo N400. I couldn’t believe my ears, something that used to cost N50 and N100, respectively.

“This government doesn’t have our interests at heart at all. If this was the road to the houses of government officials or top politicians, will it remain like this till date?

“In fact, there is a type of rain that would fall that even okada riders will refuse to ply the roads, afraid of falling into the gutters, and you will see people trekking en-masse. We are fed up with this situation.”

Meanwhile, phone calls and text messages sent to the mobile phone lines of the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, over this issue were unreturned and unanswered as at the time of going to press.



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