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Border post event stirs fresh hope for Lagos-Seme Expressway

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Will planned community protest continue?

By Tajudeen Hamzat

 

Today’s scheduled border post handover event involving President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic is stiring fresh hope that enduring work may yet be done on the very troubling Lagos-Seme Expressway.

Indeed, ahead of the event and after months of complaints from motorist and residents, the contractor (CCECC) in charge of the Lagos-Badagry road rehabilitation project recently commenced fresh work on the road.

This has brought measured hope to residents of the Lagos-Badagry area who had long opined that the state Government may have excluded them from those chosen to benefit from the provision of basic amenities in the state.

Coming to Badagry from Mile 2 has for years now been a virtual nightmare for residents due to the alarming situation of the road. Indeed, this is a far cry from the initial optimism that greeted the faces of the people after the state Government began expansion of the road about 8 years ago.

As had been proposed then, work began and motorists and residents believed their long difficulties encountered on the road will come to an end. After few years of working, the roads construction was abandoned, but this was after some private properties had been destroyed as part of the price to pay for the development.

Some major area where the roads needs urgent attention includes, Barracks Bus Stop, Volkswagen, Iyana Iba, Okoko, Isashi, Agabara, Magbon and, Oko Afo. The aforementioned bus stops are places where motorists encounters problem and are held up for hours, which has also reduced business activities in the area.

Residents have on several occasions called on the local and State Government to take urgent action on the road. On some occasions some parts are patched while others are filled with stones which keeps the road working for only sometime.

Considering the season of hourly rains, the road has now become almost unmotorable, with an alarming increment in bus fares even as some parts of the roads have been abandoned and ‘one-way’ driving is literally no more a crime along this road.

Speaking with a resident, Mr. Peter Obanuwa, he said: “We are no longer in Lagos map, the state government has shifted development to the Island and abandoned us. I work in Ikeja and I face almost endless difficulties getting to my destination from Agbara”

He recommended that the “the local government can just patch the road so that we can manage it till those rebuilding the road get to Agbara. Help us beg Ambode to look at this side of Lagos. Sadly, we also have state and federal representatives, but we don’t even feel their impact”.

A motorist who pleased anonymity said: “the road is bad, and creates all kinds of bottlenecks especially during ‘rush hour.’ Though we charge high fares but this is because we can no longer go four trips like we used to. Now we hardly go two trips while we still have our families who rely on us, and of course we have to meet up with family demands. The Government should help us as the road is damaging our buses and we now have to visit the mechanic almost on a daily basis”.

However, our correspondent who walked around the area discovered that contractors are back on the road and as at the time of this report, they were already working at Okokomaiko which implies that the road construction will soon be extended to other parts of the Badagry Expressway.

Meanwhile, residents had already planned to stage a peaceful protest on the 31st of October 2018, to pour out their grievances to the State Government and according to a memo circulated online, no vehicle will be allowed to work from Mile 2 to Badagry on that day

Considering the recent commencement of work on the road, it is unclear if the protest will still hold as proposed.

 

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