Residents of Ejigbo and Ikotun areas of Lagos State who have suffered years of hardship trying to access the neglected Ejigbo-Ikotun Road may soon heave a sigh of relief, writes Charles Ajunwa
Those residing in Ejigbo and Ikotun areas of Lagos State who ply through the Ejigbo-Ikotun Road on daily basis have one thing in common- they all spend several hours in suffocating traffic with big potholes which constituted death trap to motorists.
From morning, afternoon and evening the story is the same- tale of woes. Despite the outcry of the residents, past governments in the state could not come to their rescue.
But the tortures residents of Ejigbo and Ikotun are forced to go through because of the deplorable state of the Ejigbo-Ikotun Road, may soon become a thing of the past as Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has finally come to their rescue. The residents will soon heave a sigh of relief.
Ambode, had during an unscheduled visit to the Ejigbo-Ikotun Road in July this year, assured the residents who trooped out in their hundreds to receive him that work will commence on the road within one week. He also directed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Mr. Paul Bamgboye-Martins and the General Manager, Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC), Mr Ayotunde Sodeinde, to commence work immediately on the Ejigbo-Ikotun Road.
Touched by the plight of the residents over the years, Ambode while addressing them said, “I have come personally to see for myself the state of Ejigbo road and it is very clear that this is totally unacceptable and there is no other remedy than to let our officials come to site within the next one week and the people of this neighbourhood should be guaranteed that work will start on Ikotun-Ejigbo-Isolo axis within the next seven days”.
The Governor who was accompanied by Hon. Jide Jimoh and the Executive Secretary, Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area, Hon. Kunle Sanyaolu during the inspection tour, described the Ejigbo-Ikotun Road as a major link connecting several local government areas in the state.
When THISDAY visited the abandoned Ejigbo-Ikotun Road last week, work had since commenced on it following Ambode’s directive to the state’s Ministry of Works and LSPWC. Apart from the heavy duty equipment mobilized to site and excavation work going on, direct labourers engaged by contractors even in the rains were busy working on the drainage system. From Bucknor Road to Ejigbo Market, one side of the road was closed to traffic thereby forcing motorists to use only one lane. Movement on the opened one lane was snarly as a result of the poor state of the road network.
One of the site engineers, who refused to disclose his name, told THISDAY that all hands are on deck to ensure early completion of the road project.
According to him, Governor Ambode has “directed officials from the state’s Ministry of Work and LSPWC to execute the Ejigbo-Ikotun Road project on good time. The governor has also insisted that the project must meet acceptable international standards and we are doing everything to realize this. He wants the best for the residents of Ejigbo and Ikotun, who have grappled with poor roads network over the years. He wants to see smiles on their faces again.”
Some residents have hailed the current Lagos State government for coming to their rescue. A trader at Ejigbo Market, who simply identified herself as Ngozi, thanked Governor Ambode for remembering Ejigbo people whom she said had suffered untold hardship because of bad roads in the area. “I am one of those skeptical about the governor’s promise to rehabilitate Ejigbo-Ikotun Road, and this was borne out of our experience in the recent past. I became convinced when the heavy duty equipment started to arrive and excavation work started on one side of the road.
“Though our businesses may be affected but we will endure it because we have never had it this good before. We have suffered enough on this road and we will allow the contractors to do their work smoothly. As Governor Ambode has remembered us, my prayer is that God should remember him too. He should guide and protect him throughout his tenure and nothing bad should happen to him because he is a good man.”
Another trader, Emeka Okezie, who could not hide his joy on the construction work going on the Ejigbo-Ikotun Road, praised the courage of Governor Ambode in giving a face-lift to the long abandoned road. “I was one of those that received Governor Ambode when he paid an unscheduled visit on the Ejigbo-Ikotun Road. I am happy he fulfilled his promise to commence work on this all important Ejigbo-Ikotun Road. But as Oliver Twist, I want the governor to urgently do something on the inner roads in Ejigbo which are in deplorable state. Our children will soon open school and we don’t want them to paddle through dirty water while going to school. With good roads they will not be endangered.”
Though Mr. Enyinna Okere, a shoe dealer commended Ambode’s foresight, he insisted that he is only doing work he was elected to do. “In as much as I admire Governor Ambode’s bold step, he was elected to apply the tax payer’s money judiciously and that is exactly what he has done on the Ejigbo-Ikotun Road project. Governance is about touching lives positively and I pray he continuous this way because that is the only way he can endear himself to the electorate. So far, he has started well and the sky is his limit”
Bassey Effiong, who patronises one of the new generation banks located along the Ejigbo-Ikotun axis, advised people to stop indiscriminate dumping of waste in the gutters. “People should stop indiscriminate dumping of waste in the gutters as such barbaric practice block the drainage. Water over flowing from the blocked gutters wash away tarred roads. Lagos State government should enact laws that will punish culprits to serve as deterrent to others who might want to engage in such unhealthy practice. Mobile courts should be set up in all the council areas to try offenders.”
Mr. Adedayo Olayinka, a landlord in Ikotun, wants the contractors to step up work on the Ejigbo-Ikotun Road before the heavy rains set in. “My concern now is that the contractors handling the Ejigbo-Ikotun Road project might be forced to suspend work on the road if the heavy rains set in. Instead of delegating his aides to inspect the road project on his behalf, Governor Ambode should make out time to inspect the road project himself because by so doing, the contractors will be forced to complete the road project on time. The governor will also use the opportunity to inspect the quality of materials used for the road.”
1) Those residing in Ejigbo and Ikotun areas of Lagos State who ply through the Ejigbo-Ikotun Road on daily basis have one thing in common- they all spend several hours in suffocating traffic with big potholes which constituted death trap to motorists
2) Though our businesses may be affected but we will endure it because we have never had it this good before. We have suffered enough on this road and we will allow the contractors to do their work smoothly