By Nnamdi Ojiego
Residents of Ejigbo, Idimu, Ikotun and environs have continued to react differently following the deployment and subsequent commencement of operations on Okota/ Ejigbo/ Ikotun roads by Bus Franchise Scheme, popularly called BRT in Lagos.
Some of the residents received the news with great joy and excitement, considering what they have been passing through on the roads for years now. Others see it as political game plan to win the votes of electorates, particularly now elections are around the corner.
The people of Ejigbo in particular, felt that they are forgotten by the present administration of Governor Raji Babatunde Fashola. According to them, no meaningful infrastructural development, either by the state or local government, has been seen in the area. Therefore, the least they expected was the BRT buses plying the roads within that axis.
“It was as if we are not part of Lagos State. No street or road is tarred here; no water, nothing on ground to show that we have a leadership in Ejigbo. We don’t feel the presence of the State Government either”, said a resident, Mr Peter Olaitan.
The likes of Olaitan argued that what government has just done was putting the cart before the horse. According to them, there are certain things that ought to have been put in place before BRT could commence operations in the area.
They said Ejigbo-Ikotun road has become so bad that some portions are now death-traps. They also posited that BRT has separate lanes in other places it plies, with designated bus stops and enough ticketing officers at every bus stop.
According to them, these facilities are non-existent on this latest route of BRT, stating that unless the road is repaired and expanded, and a separate lane made for BRT, the aim of deploying the buses would be defeated.
Some those who see the deployment of BRT buses in the area as a welcome development also agreed that the roads needed a total reconstruction and expansion, they insisted that BRT bus service has provided them with temporary succour.
One of them, Mrs Ify Onyedika, who resides in Ikotun, said BRT has saved them from exorbitant fares charged by greedy commercial motorists and has also saved them from long wait at bus stops.
“BRT fare from Ikotun to Cele Express is only N50, while we pay amount ranging from N150 to N300, especially during peak hours for other commercial buses”, she said. She, however, admitted that the only disadvantage is that the buses are still being trapped in the unending traffic jam in the area.