By Bose Adebayo
It was a cloudyÂ Monday when this reporter paid a visit to the Old Ewu Road in the Mafoluku area of Oshodi/Isolo Local Government. But in spite of the threat of rain, it was another busy day from Junction Bus-stop to the popular Aviation Estate as the entire stretch of the road was very much alive with commercial activities.
The initial stage of the tour from Oludegun junction to the end of the Aviation Estate led to a section of tarred road which gave the impression that all was well in the area. ButÂ another tour from the same Oludegun junction through the Apakun axis of this road to the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway revealed that residents may actually be suffering untold hardship.
The road which hosts about 300 buildings is in a bad state and in dire need of attention. In fact, the dilapidated appearance of most of the buildings testifies to this, especially as there are clear indications that they have suffered so much from flooding on account of recent rains.
Vanguard Metro learnt that when Governor Babatunde Fashola visited the area in 2008 he assured residents of governmentâ€™s intention to provide a good drainage system for them. When constructedÂ the main drainage will channel the waters from neighbouring streets to the Airport Road , while a smaller one was to divert water from the Old Ewu Road to the main drainage.
During Vanguard Metro visit, there was a newly completed drainage (about two metres wide) from Ilare Street to the Airport Road while the other one that is supposed to channel the waters from the Old Ewu road to the main drainage has been abandoned.
Vanguard Metro also learnt that some unscrupulous government officials are believed to have on three occasions embezzled the fund meant to repair this road. Some residents who pleaded anonymity said they suspected foul play over the non-execution of the project after aÂ Â contract was awarded on three occasions.
Immediate past Chairman, Old Ewu Road Landlord Association, Pa Ogundaisi Michael said the association had made several efforts to register its plight with both the local and state governments. â€œWe have written series of letters to the government since the early nineties and up till now, nothing has been done.
A lot of politics is going on in the ministry; there is a record in the ministry that reveals the road has been awarded and supposedly completed on three occasions. On each occasions, what they do is to tar about one kilometre of the road, leaving the remaining six kilometres untarred.
All they do is to tar a portion of the road to give the impression that the entire road has been tarred. The contract has been allegedly awarded and closed. Our Chairman, Hon. Ipesa Balogun said some aspect of the job must be completed by the state government before the local government could do anythingâ€.
The current chairman of the association, Mrs. Adekunle Titilayo told Vanguard Metro thus: â€œIf not for the St. Jude Catholic Church that sand filled some portion of the road, I donâ€™t know what would have happened to a lot of us. Flood coming from neighbouring streets always converge on this road. It is a local government road but the drainage is being embarked upon by the state governmentâ€.
A lady by name Chioma told Vanguard Metro that: â€œAlthough I reside in the other street but I was here when Governor Babatunde Fashola visited.Â He said that the six streets in this area would be tarred and since then, Ajibule, Samuel, Majearo and Salami streets have been tarred.
All these places have been wearing a new look. That is why the usual gridlock on the Airport road has been drastically reduced because there are alternative routes for motorists. But whyÂ Old Ewu Road was not also tarred is a question I cannot answer. But there must be a foul play somewhereâ€.
A member of St. Jude Catholic Church by name, Ify Chukwus said the bad road has also affected some of the Churchâ€™s activities. â€œThe contractor no longer comes here. The last time I saw the contractor was about five months ago. We shall be the happiest people on earth if government could solve this problem,â€ he said..