RECENTLY, the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was in Badagry to commission some projects.
First, we cannot help but wonder how the governor possibly got to Badagry by road. Did he fly over the gullies and ditches which have for many years become metaphors for the Lagos-Badagry Express Road? And if the governor was actually in Badagry and drove through the unbelievably decrepit road, we would like to ask how he felt about that road.
The governor, no doubt, must have been shocked at the condition of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, especially between Agbara and Badagry Town.
Stories have been told of how people on health emergency died on the un-motorable road while being rushed to the Badagry General Hospital where the governor was said to have gone to commission a 110-bed Maternal and Childcare Centre, MCC, and School of Anaesthesiology.
For the only town in the state that boasts of numerous cultural and historical endowments of international repute which have attracted international tourists, it is inconceivable that government could neglect the Badagry Road.
The sufferings of residents, people who have businesses in the area and other users of the Lagos-Badagry Road got to a head in May 20, 2019, when they were compelled to troop out to the highway in protest.
The sufferings became so unbearable for the people that they organised themselves into a group called “Fix Lagos-Badagry Expressway Now Mass Movement” to draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Sanwo-Olu to the plights of residents, motorists and other road users as a result of neglect and abandonment of the international road.
Since 12 years ago when the construction of the so-called ten-lane Lagos-Badagry Expressway began in 2008 from Orile-Iganmu, only skeletal portions of the highway have been completed by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation. Even at that, the ten-lane road stops at Okokomaiko, narrowing the rest of the road down to Badagry into two lanes and leaving it in the hands of a local contractor.
Truly, both the Federal Government and Lagos State Government have been unfair to Badagry, in spite of her status as an international tourism destination.
In addition to the large population of people who live in the area, the Lagos-Badagry Road is host to a number of prime establishments such as the International Trade Fair Complex, the Volkswagen Automobile Company, Alaba International Market, Alaba Rago Livestock Market, Lagos State University Main Campus, Ojo and many others.
We, therefore, call on both the Federal and the Lagos State governments to, without further delay, fix the Lagos-Badagry Expressway to revive economic activities and make life easier for the people.