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Oba Akran Road that Buhari didn’t see cuts into two


The failed portion of Oba Akran Road, Ikeja yesterday. PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO

By a misfortune of location, the popular Oba Akran road at Ikeja, didn’t get the attention it deserves despite the one-day state visit of the president to Lagos State last week Wednesday.

While all the routes the president’s motorcade passed got a last minute touch-up and beautification, including Awolowo Way, which Oba Akran road connects to, the large crater about 50 metres to the roundabout was left abandoned to disintegrate. The bad spot was covered from the view of the august visitor by the hundreds of bystanders who stood awed and waved at the president’s motorcade.

Meanwhile, frequent users of the road have called for an immediate action to save the road from total collapse, as the only good section of the road is less than a lane in the three-lane highway.

Moving towards the bridge at Ikeja, the gully, filled with water, is expanding by each passing day. It is now threatening to divide the road into two with motorists squeezing themselves to pass the narrow space that is left on the edge of the busy road.

During the early morning hours, when workers are going to work, the effect of the affected areas including the mentioned ‘mother of all potholes’ contribute to the heavy gridlock occasioned on the road, which at times stretches to Forte Oil.

According to a civil servant, Michael Olayiwola, who plies the road everyday, he described the situation as perplexing, which he said boils down to the authority in charge of the road giving it the paramount attention it deserves.

“A stitch in time saves nine, but it is not so in this case. I don’t know why such major artery in a place like Ikeja is left to rot to this stage without maintenance while the government is focused on building new roads and commissioning uncompleted ones. What will be the fate of the newly constructed roads if existing ones are not maintained,” he lamented.

On April 20, the Lagos State government announced it had commenced immediate repairs of potholes across the state, with over 87 major roads enlisted for intervention. In a statement, Temidayo Erinle, Special Adviser, Lagos State Public Works Corporation and Drainage, said Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor, had directed that the corporation should commence immediate rehabilitation of critical roads across the state.

Erinle said the roads mapped out for repairs were presently in terrible state, and that the situation was impeding free flow of traffic in those areas with its attendant consequences. He promised that in the next few weeks, all the potholes would disappear on Lagos roads.

Incidentally, Acme-Oba Akran road was listed among some of the roads. Others were Ikotun-Egbe, Ijegun, Alimosho, Dopemu, Aka-Kemberi in Amuwo Odofin, Marina Beach Road in Apapa; Olaniyi Road in Ifako Ijaiye; Ijede road; Sabo market road in Ikorodu, Costain road by Brewery;
Glover road; Herbert Macaulay road in Mainland Local Government; Itire-Ogunlana drive intersection; Itire-Lawanson; Babs Animashaun road in Surulere; Alakija/WAEC road in Somolu and Obalende road.

A few of the roads have received some attention as well as potholes on other roads not listed.

A commercial bus driver, Rilwan Afeez, said he was sure those in charge of road maintenance in the state were only looking at its cost implication because of what they would derive from its repairs, if not, the road would not have been allowed to disintegrate to its present state.

“An important and always busy road like this, under normal circumstance, should not have been left until the damage becomes humungous,” he said.

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