Community laments bad road

Residents of Akesan community in Alimosho Local Government Area have cried out to Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on the deplorable condition of the Agric-Dosu-Ekunrin road which connects the community with the LASU–Iba highway.

When The Nation visited the community a few days ago, a cross section of distraught residents and community leaders lamented their plight while drawing the attention of our correspondent to the parlous state of the road.

The anguished residents pleaded with the Lagos State authorities to fix the deplorable road in order to make life meaningful for them.

Speaking with The Nation, a community leader, Elder Samuel Ijezie said life has become nightmarish for the residents as a result of the bad road.

He said: “It is almost a hopeless situation because travelling on this road has been hellish for residents, especially those who work in the city. Whenever it rains, motorists would park their cars and trek home or to Igando bus stop along LASU-Iba highway. And because of the terrible condition of the road, people would have to trek for about 45 minutes on the 2.6 kilometre road. Also, our vehicles are usually damaged while it has practically become impossible to access neighbouring communities like Ipaja, Ayobo, Ajasa, Command and Itele near Ota in Ogun State.”

Expatiating further, Elder Ijezie, who is also the chairman of Toluwani Community Development Association (CDA), said that the situation has taken its toll on business activities in the community. “Commercial activities in this community have dwindled because of the deplorable road as people now detest coming here to buy things from traders or patronise artisans. Even landlords are no longer finding things easy because people are not coming to rent house here anymore.”

It was gathered that the dilapidated condition of the road has also affected security of lives and property in the community. Said Ijezie: “In most cases when there is emergency security situation, police cannot access the scene because of the pathetic road. Also, fire service response to fire outbreaks has been zero because their vehicles are usually either trapped or damaged by craters and pot holes that litter the road.

“Recently, a house was being robbed and when I called a senior police officer at the Igando Police Station, he quickly dispatched his men to foil the robbery operation but they couldn’t get to the scene on time, hence, the occupants of the affected house were successfully robbed.”

Ijezie added that the immediate past governor of the state, Mr Babatunde Fashola visited the community for on-the-spot assessment and promised to fix the road to no avail. “Former governor, Babatunde Fashola came here to inspect this road and his car was trapped on the road and (he) had to be ferried out on the back of some of his aides. He then made a promise to fix the road but nothing was done till he left office about five months ago.

“We have also complained through several letters to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and he sent some officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure to assess the situation of the road. The officials came here in August. Their counterparts from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development have also inspected the road without any fruitful intervention yet.”

Another community leader, Mr Bashiru Ayinde said: “We are really facing serious problems as a result of the dilapidated condition of Agric-Dosu-Ekunrin road. Most transporters, especially commercial tricycle operators and commercial motorcycle riders popularly called Okada have been discouraged from plying the road and (have) relocated to adjoining communities.

“Those who work in the city find it difficult to return home in the evening because they would have to trek to their residence. We have tried our best to give the road a face-lift through communal effort; we contributed N500,000 which we spent to grade the road not too long ago but our communal effort is not enough to rebuild the road. We are therefore appealing to Lagos State government to help us repair the road, so that it can be accessible for residents; we are really begging government for urgent assistance in fixing it.”

A trader, who simply identified himself as Nnamdi, bemoaned the lull in his business, which he said was occasioned by the bad road. He said: “The condition of the road is really unpleasant and it is seriously affecting traders here. Before, I used to get a lot of patronage for my electrical accessories business, but customers are no longer coming to my shop to buy my wares. Many of them told me that they cannot stand the sight of being trapped in the muddy water and craters on the road.”

One of the community’s commercial motorcycle operators popularly known as Okada rider, Alamu Oyebade, said he was contemplating leaving Akesan for a neighbouring community. “It has not been easy working in this community. The road is in terrible shape and motorcycles usually have accidents on the tempestuous terrain of the road. I have spent close to N15,000 to fix my motorcycle in the last three weeks, yet, I am still repaying a loan I took to purchase the motorcycle. I am already thinking of relocating to Igando, which is no far from here.”

Source

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