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Gbeleyi community laments hardship caused by abandoned road project

Gbeleyi community laments hardship caused by abandoned road project

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Deji Lambo

Residents and business owners in Gbeleyi community, in the Idimu area of Lagos State, have lamented that the abandonment of a major road project has crippled the social and economic activities in the community.

They said the road, which had fallen into disrepair, had made life difficult for them, adding that many residents had sustained life-threatening injuries on the highway.

PUNCH Metro learnt that Gbeleyi Road was awarded to a construction company, Akas Engineering and Construction Company Limited, for upgrade in 2016.

The company, reportedly owned by the Elepe of Epe Land, Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun, allegedly abandoned the road after working for three months.

A landlord in the area, Victor Fadaun, said residents complained to the state government and the company returned to site in October 2017, adding that four months after, the firm abandoned the work again.

He said, “Gbeleyi Road had been tarred with drainage channels by the sides of the road since 1995. The assignment of Akas Engineering and Construction Company limited was to upgrade the road. But barely three months on the site, the company abandoned the road.

“We contacted the site engineer of  the company, Sunny Ejeje, and he said they would soon be back. But when ‘very soon’ became over three months, we wrote a petition to the state government.

“After the petition, the company returned to work in October 2017.  However, sometime in February 2018, they left again.”

PUNCH Metro sighted several other letters that had been written to the state government by the residents under the aegis of the Faloga Community Development Association.

A former Financial Secretary of the CDA, Mr. Isaac Oyebola, said a director from the Lagos State Ministry of Works, one Adeyemi, who was monitoring the project, once visited the site for inspection.

He said nothing, however, came out of the visit.

Oyebola noted that when the project started in 2016, the residents were happy and supported it by sacrificing some of their buildings which were demolished.

“But we are disappointed with the way they have handled it. The neglect of the project has caused serious inconvenience to us,” he added.

A school owner, Adesayo Adewoye, said the community was usually flooded whenever it rained, adding that the stagnant water bred mosquitoes.

He said, “All the people living in this area cannot go out whenever it rains because everywhere is usually flooded. In fact, many people have  abandoned their houses because it rained one night and people almost got drowned.

“It rained some days back and the culvert is still filled with water. A car has been stuck in front of a particular building for over two years now.

 “Because of the stagnant water, there has been high incidence of yellow fever and typhoid in this area. Once it is 7pm, you can’t stay outside because you and mosquito will be contending.”

Our correspondent observed on the road an abandoned tipper, crane and other machineries reportedly used by Akas Engineering and Construction Company Limited during the project.

The machineries were said to be causing obstruction to movements on the road.

Adewoye said the project had spelt doom for businesses as many traders and shop owners had left the area.

He noted that many parents had also withdrawn their children from his school because of the road.

 “Every good parent wants to drive their children to school; but if you cannot access the school, definitely you will take your child away from the school; it is sad,” he added.

A trader, Idowu Olaleye, said her business had been ruined by the road.

Another trader, Joke Ojo, who claimed to have been trading in the community for 19 years, said customers  stopped patronising her shortly after the construction company left the road to deteriorate.

 “We are pleading with the authorities to have mercy on us,” she added.

Some residents claimed that they sustained injuries on the road.

One of them, Adenike Shotinola, said she suffered dislocation while attempting to rescue a child from falling into a gutter.

“The gutter in front of my shop was not covered at that time. A boy slipped and almost fell into the gutter, and I tried to rescue him and I ended up with  dislocated hand and leg. I was in the hospital for over three months and spent about N300,000 on treatment. I am still undergoing therapy,” she said.

Another victim, Tajudeen Olaleye, said the irons at the edges of the gutter injured his legs.

“Although I heard that anyone who sustain an injuries from the abandoned project will be reimbursed, but till date, we have received nothing,” Olaleye said.

The  owner of the company handling the road, Animashaun, said the construction work would restart in two weeks’ time.

 He said, “The problem is monetary; the value of the job that has been done is far more than what we have been paid. But that notwithstanding, there is an obstacle there concerning a house that is very close to the mosque that we just sorted out.

“Nobody wants any litigation; as I am talking to you, the whole matter delaying the project has been resolved. We will commence work in another two weeks’ time.”

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