By Olalekan Bilesanmi
Those who reside in Egbeda/Ikotun and Iyana Ipaja areas of Lagos up to Abule Egba will be familiar with the nightmare associated with the traffic around Iyana Dopemu axis. This junction, leading to the Dopemu bridge, is a must route for any motorist going towards Shasha/Egbeda/Ikotun areas.
Sometimes,the traffic stretch as far from Cement Bus-stop. When the Ambode administration came in last year, the concrete mounted in the median of the express road was removed to ease traffic. Like Segun Aderopo, a motorist, said, it was a relief that government was wise enough to appreciate the problem of the people and acted promptly to remove the median concrete. “Now, I have the option of taking the over head bridge or the point at which the median has been opened and cross over to the other side of the express road and continue my journey”, he explained. If Aderopo was happy about the government action,Mrs Bisi Oke was over joyous as it helped her marriage. How? She explained:” I work on the island. I close by 4pm. By the time I get to Ikeja, it is usually around 5.30pm. Between Ikeja and Egbeda where I live,it takes me another two hours and sometimes more so that, by the time I get home, it’s usually around 8pm. By this time,my hubby is home. He is such one person who does not joke with his food. His food must be ready,no matter what. The effect of the traffic was really affecting our relationship in the house. But since that median concrete was removed, it has become smooth journey all the way. One must really thank the Lagos State government for that wonderful idea. This was the kind of idea former Governor Babatunde Fashola started with that endeared him to residents here”.
However, that’s where the excitement ends; and another agony begins,especially now it is rainy season. From the Iyana Dopemu junction down to Iyana Ipaja, there is no drainage system such that when it rains,one side of the road is taken over by flood. The flood not only stops residents from going out, it wrecks their homes. It also generates heavy traffic which affects both sides of the road. When Sunday Vanguard visited the site penultimate Saturday while it was raining, shop owners had to relocate and the traffic generated by the flood was heavy. Virtually all the residents and motorists affected by the flood complained of lack of vision(to know that such a place would need drainage),corruption, idleness, etc. James Okwara,56, couldn’t imagine how government would see a section of the road like it is and not do anything.
Kennedy Aderibigbe,46, appealed to the state government to see that the drainage is done ease the flow of traffic. Not doing it,he believes, would have negative effects on the goodwill of the Ambode government. A call to Engineer Ayo Shodeinde, General Manager of the Lagos State Public Works,the parastatal in charge,his line was not available. He was not equally on seat when Sunday Vanguard visited the parastatal’s Berger/Isheri headquarters. The commissioner for the environment, Mr Adejare’s number could also not be reached at the time of going to press.