Lafenwa/Itele/Ayetoro Road: Sad tales of abandoned Ogun border communities
Residents of Lafenwa, Itele, Ayetoro Budo, and other communities under Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government, along the Lafenwa/Ayobo axis have had their fair share of abandonment.
For 16 years, the communities on the Lagos/Ogun State borders have been abandoned and their nightmare and challenges are aggravated due to the deplorable state of their roads.
These communities have also been marginalised for long, as previous administrations have denied them dividends of democracy. Many road users who ply this route have one ugly story or another to tell.
Their location in-between two states, seems to alienate them from government’s infrastructural programmes. For now, it seems they are on their own.
Currently, the road, from Oju Ore in Sango-Ota, connecting these communities to Lagos State is in a terrible state. From Sango through Afobaje, Lafenwa, Aparadija, Omokashi to Ayetoro Budo, is littered with severe potholes, making movement very tasking.
For the residents, connecting Lagos via Ayobo has become a near-impossible mission, as majority have completely abandoned the road, for the Lagos-Abeokuta road, which is not only longer, but time consuming.
When The Guardian visited the area during the week, dejection and resignation were written on all the communities, as commercial activities have been badly affected.
A resident, Mr. Samson Adamolekun said the state of the road has scared prospective investors away from the area because it has become a no-go-area.
He added that its border location gives it great potentials but since it has become inaccessible, owners of factories have moved to other areas.
With few weeks of torrential downpours, the road has gone from bad to worse, making it impassable and completely abandoned.
Findings revealed that some residents working outside the area now prefer to stay either in Lagos or Sango to avoid the stress of getting to their homes. Many have abandoned built houses for the city, while tenants are packing out en masse.
Vehicles plying the road are easily identified by mud covering their tyres, bumpers and bodies.
For now, all commercial vehicles have abandoned the Oju-Ore/Lafenwa route, as only a few commercial motorcyclists dare the route. Yet, it is a tortuous journey as passengers most times have to disembark and trek a distance, while motorcyclists would meander through a narrow bush path.
Shortly after leaving the Lafenwa junction, there is a terrible ditch at Aparadija community, which had eaten a larger chunk of the road. It is an undulating erosion-ridden portion, forcing motorists to abandon the route completely.
Motorists and pedestrians now rely on an alternative route, which passes through an area called Abule. Even at that, commercial buses are still lamenting the damage the road had done to their vehicles.
Isefun is another terrible spot that has been causing serious problem on the route. Each time it rains, that portion becomes impassable, muddy and slippery.
The scenario is the same at the Omokashi bus stop, where about 50 metres stretch on the axis had been chopped off by erosion.
From Omokashi through MTN bus stop, Cele bus stop, where the diversion links to the main road, Adekoya bus stop, Ayetoro junction and Mopol junction, it is tales of woe, as residents, motorists and other road users are crying to government.
Immediately after the Mopol junction, is the Ayetoro Bridge, which serves as the boundary between Lagos and Ogun.
The situation from there towards Ayobo, is a sharp contrast to the Ogun Stateside, as the immediate past administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State had rehabilitated the road.
Journeying to Ayetoro area from Lafenwa, which shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, now, takes about 90 minutes; getting to Ayobo from Ayetoro takes only six minutes, due to Lagos State’s intervention on the road.
A motorcyclist, Olumuyiwa Joshua told The Guardian that the area had been neglected for long. He said aside the issue of bad roads; the area had been sidelined in the scheme of things, adding that past elective political office holders from the area did not help matters.
He stated that the experiences of residents have been pathetic, as they are forced to use the road since they have no option, adding that the rehabilitation of the road is beyond what the communities can do.
Another critical road that ought to ease the movement of Ota residents to Lagos is the Obasanjo-Ijagba road, which links more than 50 communities-Iyesi, Dada-Asaila, Ijagba, Elejigbo, Eledi, Atan, Onibiku, Iju, Winners, among others. This particular road network, according to residents could reduce the heavy traffic around the Toll Gate axis of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, by about 60 per cent, if it is well designed and constructed.
A member of the Ado-Odo/Ota Area Community Development Council, Ajao Babatunde told The Guardian, that residents of Ota are really suffering, as the roads continue to limit development and business growth.
“The economy of Ogun State lies in Ota, but it is unfortunate that the government is paying less attention to our roads. If Ambode can commission 22 roads to enhance development and attract more businesses, what stops Ogun from following suit?
“We learnt that Governor Dapo Abiodun has inspected some of the roads, it’s left for him to immediately sign the contract to save his people from severe pains and infrastructure decay. Former Governor, Ibikunle Amosun has disappointed us by neglecting these roads, but our hope lies in the current government. Please come and help us,” he said.
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