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Lagos-Badagry Highway: Residents, motorists groan over bad roads, gridlock

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By Esther Onyegbula

LAGOS—-MOTORISTS plying the Okokomaiko, Iyana Iba, Mile 2 routes have called on the Lagos State Government to ameliorate their suffering by continuing with the road construction and fixing failed portions of the road, which have become nightmares.

•A bad portion of the Badagry expressway

The rains and snail pace of the construction of the 10-lane highway by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company, CCECC over allegation of lack of funds have in no small measure contributed to the unending congestions and anguish motorists go through while plying that route. There is hardly a day that accidents don’t occur. A number of articulated trucks have somersaulted spilling their goods on the road and vehicles breakdown regularly.

The road, which is ridden with pool size pot holes, has awful failed portions. Before and after Okokomaiko U-turn,  Igbo-Elerin bus stop, Okoko bus stop, Iyana Iba, Volks, and Barracks bus stops, before and after Trade Fair (under the bridge) on both sides, Abule-Osun and immediately after the newly constructed Alakija Bridge are some of the terrible portions of the road.

When South-West Voice visited the route, the traffic congestion on the road, which started before Alakija bus stop, had stretched towards Iyana Iba, with several articulated vehicles breaking down at different points.

The terrible state of the road has made the route commercial motor bikes haven and the operators take advantage of the bad road, and traffic congestion to hike their fares.

Our ordeals – Residents, motorists, others

Speaking about his ordeal, a policeman, Lekan Oyebanjo, who boarded the same commercial bike with South-West Voice from Alakija to Iyana Iba, said ‘’the suffering on this road is unbearable. The truth is that we don’t have a functional government. Where in the world do elected officers go to sleep while their people are subjected to so much misery? How else do you explain the abandoned construction of this road? This is the only road that connects residents, who live in Badagry, Agbara, Okoko, Iyana Iba to Mile 2, and the Island; there is no alternative road.  The government initially denied abandoning the Mile 2-Badagry road construction. Now we heard that the construction will continue after the election next year. Can you imagine?’’

Also lamenting, 37- year old Ivie Osas said: ‘’I live in Badagry and work in Festac. It is really frustrating going to work through this road. The annoying part is that most times I board okada (commercial motor bike) with strangers just to cut cost. And some men are so naughty, when you sit with them on the bike they start acting funny. Sometimes you feel their bulging manhood behind you. All these are some of the effects of the bad road. If the roads were in good state I probably would be driving to work or board a bus.

‘’Funny enough, this road does not recognise public holidays or weekends. Anytime you want to go out you will have to leave home three hours early otherwise you will be stuck in traffic. There was a day I was going to a social engagement at about 11am. I boarded a bus at Badagry bus stop. That day the traffic started at Okoko U-turn. The vehicles crawled till we got to Ojo barracks. By the time I got to Abule-Ado, it was 5 pm. I had to make a U-turn as they had finished the ceremony.’’

To Mr. Ali Kazeem, who lives in his personal house in Agbara but works in a shipping firm in Apapa, ‘’the problem we are facing on this road is self-inflicted. We are suffering because we elected wicked leaders. I have a vehicle but woe betide me if I drive to the office on this road. The last time I did, I almost abandoned my car at a point. I have resorted to taking commercial bike, which is very risky and costly too.

‘’I spend N1500 daily on commercial bikes. How much am Iare my earning as salary my sister? If I board commercial bus it means I will get home by 12 midnight because of bad roads and pot holes. The only option most of us have is to use okada which his very risky. Sincerely the government needs to do something about the situation; they need to find solutions to this bad road.

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