Ikorodu (Lagos State) – Residents of Ikorodu in Lagos State on Tuesday expressed mixed reactions over the government’s directive compelling commercial buses to discharge and pick up passengers only at the Sabo Motor Park.
Mr Babatunde Edu, General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), had in a statement last Thursday, given the commercial bus drivers in Ikorodu a 48-hour ultimatum on the issue.
He said that the state government would no longer tolerate their indiscriminate discharging and picking up of passengers at the Ikorodu roundabout, instead of the duly-designated Sabo Motor Park.
Some residents of Ikorodu on Tuesday said that government’s decision on the issue was laudable.
Mr Henry Akindelu, an architect, agreed that the movement of commercial bus drivers to the designated Sabo Motor Park would ease traffic free flow at the Ikorodu Roundabout.
He said: “I am happy with the decision of the state government to restrict commercial bus drivers to the Sabo Motor Park because they are the major cause of the traffic gridlock in Ikorodu.
“They discharge and pick-up passengers indiscriminately at the Ikorodu Roundabout, without regard for other road users.
“Their insensitivity to other motorists has been a major source of concern to all road users in Ikorodu.
“With this new development, we will certainly enjoy some respite from their nuisance and have a traffic free roundabout.”
In the same vein, Mrs Taiwo Atitebi, a teacher, said that the move would help in decongesting the usual huge crowd at the roundabout.
She said: “It is a good decision on the part of government because it will reduce the unnecessary crowd at the Ikorodu roundabout.
“Most of the people lurking around the roundabout are not just passengers; they are also miscreants and thieves.
“They take advantage of the rowdiness at the roundabout to dispossess people of their valuables.
“At least, this move will help to expose the boys that engage in these vices.”
However, Mr Yinusa Ibrahim, a retiree, noted that the move would inflict unnecessary hardship and stress on the residents.
He said: “The roundabout is at the centre of Ikorodu, hence it is more accessible and convenient than the Sabo Motor Park.
“Ikorodu is a big town and residents come from different parts of the town to the roundabout to board vehicles.
“Any move to make everyone to come to Sabo will be unnecessarily stressful and inconvenient for most residents and visitors.
“A bus that takes off from the Ikorodu roundabout, for instance, will definitely get to Ketu before the one coming from Sabo.
“And considering the traffic gridlock on the Ikorodu-Ketu axis, it pays to save time.
“Moreso, the bus fare from Sabo to Ketu will be costlier than that from the Roundabout because Sabo is farther.”
The retiree said that government ought to be more sensitive and should always consider the effect of its decisions on the people.
“The decision will be a welcome development to who have cars, but I do not have a car and I know the financial implication of such a move,” he said.
Mrs Abosede Ogundairo, a banker, said: “I will prefer to take a cab to Agric or Ogolonto to board a bus, rather than going to the Sabo Motor Park.
“I have lived in Ikorodu for over 20 years and I know that boarding a bus from the Sabo Motor Park is a pure waste of time.
“Passengers usually stayed away from the park.”
Mr Debo Ogunsanya, a businessman, said that the Sabo Motor Park had always been shunned by residents because of its location.
He said: “For years, the government has been trying to enforce the usage of the Sabo Motor Park, but residents boycotted the move because it was not convenient for them.
“You can not compare the location of Sabo to the Ikorodu roundabout which is in the heart of Ikorodu Town.
“Moreso, people generally perceive the Sabo Park as a place for boarding interstate buses.
“Danfo drivers that tried loading from the Sabo motor park in the past, discovered that passengers were not generally forthcoming.”
However, Ogunsanya suggested that government should concentrate on easing the traffic flow between Ikorodu and Mile 12, instead of causing hardships for residents of Ikorodu Town.
Mr Tajudeen Isiaka, a commercial bus driver, said that going to the Sabo Motor Park to unload and pick up passengers would be a waste of time.
He said: “There are no passengers in Sabo; it is just a waste of time. I will rather shun the Ikorodu route in the mean time.”
NAN reports that officials of the Lagos State Task Force, LASTMA and the Police were seen at Ikorodu roundabout on Tuesday ensuring strict compliance with the directive. (NAN)