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In Aboru, Iyana Ipaja, residents groan over bad roads

By Isaac Taiwo and Yetunde Ayobami Ojo
10 October 2021   |   3:00 am
Residents of Aboru, a densely-populated community in the outskirts of Lagos, once enjoyed a good road up to the canal that separates Abule-Oki in Iyana Ipaja with Aboru.

Iyana Ipaja Market<br />

Residents of Aboru, a densely-populated community in the outskirts of Lagos, once enjoyed a good road up to the canal that separates Abule-Oki in Iyana Ipaja with Aboru. The exception was the locally built make-shift bridge over the canal that often necessitated patience and great care to navigate in time past.

When the makeshift bridge was eventually replaced with concrete, residents heaved a sigh of relief. But the relief was short-lived. It came to light much later that the water level of the carnal was at par with the road, often leading to overflowing whenever it rained and making it very difficult for people to cross the bridge. These incidences have resulted in the loss of lives at various times.

When it rains and water overflows the carnal, it also flows to Abule Oki and leads to massive flooding, making roads impassable. The road has become so bad that passenger vehicles and tricycles plying the route from Iyana Ipaja to Aboru have devised alternatives, leaving only motorcyclists to cater to the commuting needs of residents. The development had resulted in untold hardship on Aboru residents who are struggling to cope with the high cost of transport in and out of their community.

A teacher, who identified herself as Mummy Emmanuella and teaches at a school in Aboru, described the situation as unpalatable. “What we pass through whenever it rains cannot be explained. All we demand is for the Lagos State government to come to our aid. The suffering is too much,” she said.

Another resident of Aboru, who gave her name like Patricia, also described the situation of the canal area as most disturbing. “Due to the problem of the canal, I try as much as possible to restrict my movement. But for how long can one do that. Man is created not to be restricted to one place because we have to move about. I plead with the government to attend to the problem,” she said.

A motorcycle rider, Sunday said it has been long the road has become problematic. “To ride through the rough road filled with hard stones is not easy for us let alone tricycle riders and passenger vehicle drivers. It is hectic eking a living on this road. We appeal to the government of Lagos State to do something to alleviate the sufferings of the people of Aboru and Abule Oki,” he said.

Chairman, Oki Central Community Development Association (CDA), Gbadamosi Oluwafemi Razak lamented the situation, which according to him has claimed a lot of lives, including a security officer who was trying to rescue a victim that was sinking.

“The Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Belo, last year, between January and February, promised to fix the problem of the canal. He summoned a stakeholders meeting, made up of CDA Chairmen with CDC in attendance. Also in attendance was the Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe and about three of four Director-Generals from Ministry of Environment as well as Drainage and Water Resources. At the meeting, we were told that the work has been handed over to the contractor and that the bridge over the canal from here, Agbele to Ipaja would be made with concrete on both sides with roads that would take vehicles. Actually, it would be stretched to Ayetoro. Work has started at Rasaki Akinola with dredging taking place now. We hope that the work will be completed,” Rasak said.

‘Alimosho Roads Also Need Repairs’
RESIDENTS of Iyana Ipaja in the Alimosho area of Lagos State have appealed to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to urgently consider repairing their roads, which according to them are in terrible conditions.
   
Although they were quick to acknowledge the government’s appreciable efforts in the development of infrastructure within the state, especially in the face of such challenges as economic recession, COVID-19 pandemic that led to a lockdown and the destruction that ensued from the #EndSARS protests, the residents, however, urged the governor to make rehabilitation of their roads one of the top priorities in the next fiscal year.
   
Speaking to The Guardian at various locations last week, Bola Adio, a resident of Modupeola Street in Iyana Ipaja, expressed displeasure over the road’s appalling state. She explained that the road has been very bad for a long time and is getting worse every year, with the government apparently doing nothing about it.

 
It is the same story as other residents who have businesses or residential houses on the streets. They implored the government to put an end to their anguish and improve their living condition by fixing the road, especially since there is no alternative.
   
Surprisingly, the road that leads to the Iyana Ipaja Customary Court is also in a poor state, despite that many people are forced to ply the road, whenever they visit the court.
 
James Banjo, a trader, said the mere fact that a government court is situated in the area should have prompted the authorities to do something fast about the road. 
 
Another road that is begging for urgent attention is Modupe Ayoade Street that leads to Araromi Junction. Here, residents in the neighbourhood explained that their problem is always two-fold: The area gets flooded whenever it rains, while they have to contend with massive dust during the dry season. All of this, they told The Guardian, is making life truly unbearable.
 
One unpleasant fallout from all this, according to the residents, is that criminals are taking advantage of the situation to rob motorists, who get trapped in the inevitable traffic on these roads.

Narrating their ordeal to The Guardian, some vehicle owners said they usually spend a huge amount to repair their vehicles, which often develop faults, due to the bad condition of the roads they ply daily. Similarly, a visit to Alhaji Sekoni Street in the same Alimosho Council showed that residents in these areas are really having it rough, on account of their bad roads.

 
Indeed, a resident on the street wondered what governance is all about, if the ordinary road could not be fixed. And though he thanked the council authority for fixing the drainage at the entrance of the street, he said the residents expected more than that, considering the state of things in the environs. 
 
Certainly, if the Iyana Ipaja Market Road is fixed, the traffic pressure along Iyana Ipaja-Egbeda-Ikotun Road will reduce, especially at the roundabout in Iyana Ipaja. This correspondent observed that but for the bad state of the road, motorists wanting to link the Iyana Ipaja- Abeokuta Expressway can as well use the Market road to connect the expressway, instead of being in a logjam together with vehicles plying the major Iyana-Ipaja, Egbeda-Ikotun Road.
 
It is, however, pertinent to correct the notion expressed by some of the residents that the Sanwo-Olu administration has neglected many areas in his infrastructural development efforts.

Relevant authorities have always disclosed that the state government’s efforts in rehabilitating infrastructure across the state since Sanwo-Olu assumed office in 2019 is still ongoing and is being delivered in phases.
 
So far, over 51 road projects have been delivered, while serious work is ongoing across the state in order of priority. This is being implemented through the administration’s infrastructure renewal programme.
 
The Governor’s Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Aramide Adeyoye, during a recent inter-ministerial press briefing explained that the projects were selected on the basis of their strategic importance to enhance connectivity and improve economic activities across the metropolis.

 
For instance, the government was undertaking 43 capital projects deemed pertinent to delivering efficient traffic management and intermodal transportation system, with traffic management and transportation as the first pillar in the Sanwo-Olu administration’s development blueprint, known as T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.

Some of the projects that have been delivered include the Pen-Cinema flyover, ramp and road works on Ikorodu Road, Lagos-Ogun Boundary roads Phase II, Lekki Oniru Traffic Circulation Projects and the network of 31 roads in Ojokoro, and Aradagun-Epeme-Iworo-Ajido, among others.

Aside the capital projects, the state government has also embarked on regular maintenance work of the major and inner roads across the state, which has led to the rehabilitation of over 632 arterial roads by the Lagos State Public Works Corporation, covering approximately 192 kilometres.

   
Adeoye noted that no area is neglected, as works would soon get to everywhere.

He said: “It is only a matter of time. The Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, in the last two years, has completed the construction of 51 road projects across the state and has over 43 ongoing road projects across the three senatorial districts. This is in addition to over 24 public building infrastructures that we are providing for socio-economic growth. Our continuous intervention in road repairs and maintenance had led to the rehabilitation of over 632 inner roads, covering approximately 192km across the state.”

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