Ajao Estate… Navigating pothole infested roads
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 daily worsening condition of the roads, which has seen potholes taking over them, has got the residents wondering whether state and local government authorities have forgotten about them.
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.
The potholes are more noticeable at the Ajao Estate Gate, along Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road, down to the estate proper, the link bridge, as well as several inner streets. Many of the potholes are widening and get deepened into small craters as the rains intensify. Rain water, which are deposited there during downpours stay there for days.
A resident Mr. Ginikachi Obodo, told The Guardian that most streets in the estate are in bad shape, adding that there is the compelling need for governments to rehabilitate them in order to restore the glory of the estate.
Obodo said, “The stretch of road from the Ajao Estate Gate, along Airport Road, down to Stella Sholanke Street, up on to Akinola Sholanke, by Cobham Street have all collapsed.
“Lateef Salami Street, a major entrance into the estate, has several collapsed portions, which still hold stagnant water, including Lanre Ebegbuna and many others,” he stated
A businessman who lives along Lateef Salami Street, Mr. Olamide Oluwadara, said, “The road becomes very bad for those of us who live here when it rains. At the slightest rainfall, the road becomes impassable. Pedestrians have to walk along our shop corridors in order to avoid the pool of water. It was not like his when we moved into this estate some years ago.”
He continued, “Then, the Works Department of Oshodi Local Council regularly came around to repair roads in the estate. But I cannot remember when last we saw either local or state government workers doing anything to make roads in the estate passable, even when some of their top officials live here.”
Ojulari Oderinde, a shop owner on the same street has lost count of the number of times his delivery trucks have fallen down, as drivers try to manoeuvre along the bad roads.
Oderinde said: “I have lost a lot of money here, especially when my crates of drinks fall from the vans due to the many potholes. It continues to happen every time and we are tied of complaining.”
A resident, Gani Osibogun, is short of words as to what has happened to his street just two years after an attempt was made to effect minor repairs on it.
“It was few years ago that we saw some people grading the road and de-silting the drainage. Everybody was rejoicing, and saying ‘at last the government has remembered us.’ But our joy was short-lived when, soon after, they left the site without completing the job. We thought they would return after the rains, but they never did.
“In fact, because they had loosened so much earth on the road, it was much easy for the road to be completely washed away. It has been getting worse since then and we have not seen those workers come back to complete what they started,” he said.
Along Stella Sholanke and Akinola Sholanke streets, only drainage channels were dug, ahead of the road construction proper. Speaking about these streets, a resident, Mr. Shaibu Ola, said, nothing has happened since then and it appears the roads have been forgotten. They have broken down and residents are the ones who suffer the pains.”
He lamented the damage to his car at a spot where the culvert has been damaged for several months.
Ola said: “I was on my way to work one morning when I drove into a very big pothole on the street. I did not suspect anything until a bus conductor waved at me and pointed at my car. I stopped and found out that fuel was dripping from the fuel thank. My fuel thank had been broken. I have changed not once, not twice, but three times, the shock-absorber and bushings of my car because of the bad roads in the estate.”
The Sole Administrator, Isolo Local Council Development Area, Ms. Abimbola Osikoya, said the council would very soon inspect the estate to see how to rehabilitate the roads to ensure people move freely to their work places and businesses, as well.
Osikoya said: “Though we are not aware of the residents’ complain but any moment from now we will visit the area and their problem would become a thing of the past.”