Lagos-Abeokuta Road: Residents seek Sanwo-Olu’s urgent intervention to save lives
The Lagos State Government appears to have forgotten some sections of the mainland part of the state in the area of infrastructure.
While Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was busy campaigning for his reelection since last year, motorists and other road users on the Agege-Abeokuta expressway – from Ile-Epo Market, Oke-Odo, to the old tollgate, the boundary between Ogun and Lagos State are crying in silence.
To say the section of the road has become a death trap as countless accidents happen on weekly basis with casualties is saying the obvious. Indeed, the level of degeneration of the road has become a shame to the state.
Though it is a Federal Government road, but while Ogun State has begun to fix its own side from Sango, towards Ifo, the Lagos section has been left for too long at the detriment of residents and all road users.
From the popular Ile-Epo Market, the road has become an eyesore. A trip from Iyana-Ipaja area to Sango, which usually takes less than 30 minutes, now takes more than two hours, due to the state of the road.
When The Guardian visited the area before the Easter break, it was observed that aside the Oshodi – Pleasure stretch, which is devoid of potholes, the section from General/Beckley estate junction, through Ahmadiyya, Obadeyi, Meiran, Salolo, Adura, Casso, Kollington, Alakuko, Amje, Ajegunle to the tollgate have been left to degenerate, especially with the coming rainy season.
Though a section of the stretch inward Lagos has been rehabilitated by the contractor – Julius Berger before leaving the site over a year ago, the other section inward Sango has become an eyesore. These areas are dotted with potholes and craters of different shapes and sizes.
While some commuter buses and private car owners have abandoned the route, the few who risk navigating through the axis have had tales of woes to tell, as precious hours are wasted on the stretch, on daily basis, just as transport fare has been jerked up.
The transport fare from Abule-Egba bus stop to the tollgate, which was initially put at N100, has been increased to N300, while a trip to Ifo from the same bus stop has been increased to N500 from N200.
Some motorists who could not drive through the bad sections are now taking the Captain/Osi Ota road to link Sango, while commuters now take Oju-Ore route through Abule-Egba to avoid pain of passing through the stretch.
The worst hit currently is the Ile-Epo market/Gatankowa second-hand textile market axis. The 100-metre stretch from the textile market to Ile-Epo is dotted with craters of different sizes. The dirty-brownish and smelly water from the dumpsite, flowing directly into the road has made the road messier.
While motorists struggle to navigate through the stretch between September and December last year, the stretch has completely been abandoned since January as it has become impassable for all vehicles.
Currently, motorists now drive through the BRT dedicated lane to connect Pleasure bus stop, a development that has hampered free flow of traffic for the BRT buses, due to the excesses of the yellow buses on the lane.
Most times when the traffic gridlock is out of control, the police and officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) are always helpless to rescue to situation.
A motorist who lives close to Abule-Egba bus stop, Mr. Johnson Taiwo who rues the current state of the road, said the area has completely been abandoned by current administration as if it is not part of the state.
“Though it is a Federal Government road, but at least if total rehabilitation cannot be done, a sort of palliative should be provided to lessen the challenge of road users. It is a shame to see the road in this condition in the last six months yet nothing has been done.
“The BRT dedicated lane that we all ply now has been bastardised by the yellow buses that always stay there to pick up passengers. Most times, the traffic jam on the lane is always static and we may be there for hours without solution. We are appealing to Governor Sanwo-Olu to look into the plights of motorists in the area and provide a palliative on the road.”
On her part, Madam Ibironke Adedotun, a trader at the popular Ile-Epo market, said the development showed the insensitivity of the current administration in the state.
“A visitor in this area will never believe that this area is part of Lagos State because the state government has practically neglected here. It doesn’t cause them anything to rehabilitate this road causing many people, including traders’ pain. Whenever the lorries bringing goods to the market pass through the stretch, it’s either they get stuck or their tyres are affected due to the state of the road.
“When it comes to revenue, they know how to come here to collect all the necessary levies, but when it comes to provision of infrastructure, they always forget us here. We are appealing to the governor to look at the plight of the road users and rehabilitate this road.”
When the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso was contacted, he said the state government has tried to provide palliatives so that people can move along that corridor.
“I think the Federal Government has said any moment from now there’ll be working on the road. I think they are waiting for funds and I think they have gotten it. Lagos State has tried to provide palliatives so that people can move along that corridor. If there’s need for us to do that, I think we’ll do it better.”
When the Special Adviser to the Minister of Works, Mr. Akeem Bello was contacted to speak on when work will resume on the road, he directed the reporter to the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos State, Engr. Umar Bakare, but all calls put across to Bakare’s mobile phone were not picked.
Also, the message sent to his Whatsapp was opened, but yet to reply as of the time of filing this report.