Help! We are disconnected from rest of the world, Ikorodu communities lament
• Please Come To Our Aid Now – Residents
• Govt Aware Of Situation, Shopping For Lasting Solution – SA Works
These are not the best of times for residents of Ita-Oluwo, Mushin, Agbede, Muti, Ajegunle, Igbo-Ogijo, Igbo-Olomu, Psychiatry and environs as they lament the deterioration of the main road that connects all of them.
Currently, not only have they been cut off from civilisation, but they have also suffered the loss of lives, property, jobs, and businesses. This is in addition to the physical and mental trauma that they have had to endure due to the poor state of the roads.
When the express road leading from the Ikorodu garage up to Ita-Oluwo, Sagamu road was undergoing rehabilitation, the residents heaved a sigh of relief, as they assumed that their sufferings would soon end. This was not to be as residents are now accusing a construction company that is fixing the Sagamu Road of destroying the Ita-Oluwo – Muti Road, rendering it impassable, and cutting off thousands of homeowners and businesses.
Presently, broken down vehicles and motorcycles, shattered car parts and abandoned foot wears dot the entire length of the road, all relics of the terrible state of the road.
The Baale of Ita-Oluwo community, Agbolade Daodu said the major road, which constitutes a valuable infrastructure to all has become a death trap, “and is now inaccessible to vehicles. The construction company that handled the reconstruction of the Sagamu Road destroyed the entrance to this community and abandoned it. The Ita-Oluwo-Ajegunle Road is now so bad that even motorcyclists have abandoned it. We understand that we’re at the boundary of the state, but we are begging the state government to come to our aid urgently, as we are slowly dying. The road needs major reconstruction work, which will include drainages. Economic activities have been paralysed; businesses have closed down, and vehicles cannot come in or go out,” he lamented.
The immediate past roads’ chairperson for all the Community Development Associations (CDAs) within the axis, Tola Adedeji told The Guardian that the road has been managed through communal efforts for a long time now, with no government assistance.
Adedeji said that they have written several letters to both the Lagos and Ogun states’ governors, and attached pictures of the poor state of the road, but that nothing has come out of it. He added that the road, which spans several kilometers, is also a link to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, but has since broken down completely and abandoned.
He alleged that the road has been left in that state for a while because it is a border community. “I urge the Lagos State governor to come here with his biggest car and see if he can ply this road. Even tippers, tankers, and trailers have abandoned this road because of its very poor state. But they should realise that it is human beings living here; even animals do not live like this.”
Margaret Kehinde, a resident of the area, said, “the road is beyond terrible when it rains and is covered with mud and flood. You’ll be lucky not to be tossed in the mud by the commercial motorcyclists, who have also tripled their fares, even though I can’t blame them as apart from the increase in the price of petrol, the road is a nightmare and the entrance to the community is hellish. Even before the rains came, the place has been impassable but has now been abandoned. They need to construct deep, well-laid gutters on both sides of the road before leveling it, and the road must be a bit higher than the gutter so that when it rains, water will not gather on the road, but flow into the gutter,” she posited.
Solomon Moronkeji, a resident of Success Community, Ajegunle, regretted that residents have undergone terrible hardship due to the bad condition of the road, which connects all the communities. “The road was tarred almost 20 years ago by the government, but it became worse over time and got progressively worse. Businesses are falling apart, and shops are closing down daily. The misery arising from this road can’t be described in words; you have to come here and see it to understand what we are saying. We are begging the government to kindly look into our plight urgently and make sure the road is repaired.
For Goke Kolawole, from Triumph CDA: “Ita- Oluwo is now a nightmare for people staying in that axis. Aside from the increase in transport fare by commercial motorcyclists, you find it difficult to even get any commercial motorcyclist to take you home now. For those of us who used to drive, the mechanic and I became best friends as we saw ourselves every week for vehicular repairs. God help you if you also get stuck in the mud, nobody would help you out, and it would cost an arm and a leg to tow your vehicle out of the mud. The government of both states should wake up to their responsibilities by fixing the road. As I am aware, they know we exist because we will soon start seeing them now due to election campaigns.”
General Secretary, Ajegunle/Triumph CDAs, David Akinloye regretted that their repeated cry for help has fallen on deaf ears, leading to loss of lives and property.
“Last month, a commercial motorcyclist slipped from his motorcycle, right in front of Bravo filling station, and died instantly. Two ladies also fell from a motorcycle near Dikram Filling Station, and one of them broke her leg. After that heavy downpour just before the last Eid el Kabir, three vehicles got stuck in the mud immediately after Dikram Filling Station, and no one could bring the vehicles out of the mud.
“In the last three weeks or thereabouts, no one could ride a bicycle after the Dikram Petrol Station, talk less of vehicles or motorcycles. At the main entrance to the community, nothing can enter, including heavy-duty trucks. During the last Ileya festival, most people that drove their vehicles into this place were stuck and had to look for towing vans to get them out. I lost my Kia Rio car on this same road last year. The brain box was the first to get bad, and after buying another one for N120, 000, the car got stuck in the mud and spent five whole days there. By the time I was able to get it out of the mud, three different mechanics described it as a write-off. Owode-Onirin boys bought it as scrap; I wept like a baby, and couldn’t believe what just happened to me. Despite community efforts in the past, the road has gone from bad to worse,” he said.
Another resident of Triumph CDA, Joseph Adeniyi, pleaded with the government to come to their aid, stressing that apart from high transportation fares, “many transporters have abandoned this place, so how are we supposed to move around? Some people that can afford to have abandoned their houses and moved elsewhere due to the terrible state of the roads, but we that have nowhere else to go to are stuck here, suffering and dying. We cannot continue like this,” he said.
Chairperson, Triumph CDA, Pastor Kumuyi Akinwunmi, who said that their sufferings cannot be adequately expressed in words added, “We desperately need government’s intervention because this is the only major road that we are using, but the road is no longer motorable. We have to go through Igbo-Ogijo if we must drive. In doing so, a journey of three minutes takes over 40 minutes or even more. The absence of drainage leads to flooding on the road flood, which becomes too muddy for vehicles and humans. This situation is affecting our lives and the economy of this area. Please come to our aid now,” he said.
Reacting to their plight, Special Adviser To Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Works and Infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye told The Guardian via telephone that her office is well aware of the situation, and was doing everything humanly possible to provide a lasting solution.
“I was in Ikorodu for two days from morning till night, visiting different communities, including Ijede, Gberigbe, Agric/Isawo, and we even went to Ita-Oluwo to assess the situation and the level of decay. We have so many areas to consider, but with limited resources. So, we have to prioritise our work.
“We have provided lasting solutions to areas like Ogolonto, Oba Sekunmade area, and some other areas around Ikorodu. We know, and acknowledge that the community in question has been cut off, and we are working on it. The designs are ready, but we require resources to deploy. We have all these roads in the palm of our hands and know the places that need help. I won’t deceive you and say that we’re working on it when I know very well that work cannot start yet. But when I tell you it is on my radar, believe me, and at the first opportunity, we’ll see what we can do about it.”
“It may appear as if we are slow, or not doing anything, but I promise you that when we are done with the Sagamu Road, we would move to the side roads. It is not that I am not sympathetic to the people’s plight, or that the people of Ita-Oluwo are less important than the people of other areas but there is due process for these things, and resources are stretched. We have a criterion for prioritising areas, and we are currently working on another community that was also cut off. We will certainly work on it and I don’t need a feature story done before I know what to do.
“The state government is working assiduously on it and I promise that it would be done as soon as possible because we are well aware of their plight.
Because we have not gotten to some particular places, some might think that we are not working, but we’re doing the best that we can with what we have at hand,” she said.