•Save us from flooding, collapsed infrastructure, Lagos community begs govt
By Tony Udemba
Residents of Satellite Town, Lagos , have decried the deplorable state of roads and basic infrastructure in the area, even as they called for the urgent intervention of the governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, to save them from being overrun by floods.
This was the position of the leaders and representatives of various estate associations in the community when they came together in their hundreds under the aegis of Satrowak CDA, at the Agulu Town Hall, Satellite Town, recently.
They were there to brainstorm on the way out of the deplorable and horrifying collapse of the road network and other infrastructure in the area. Satrowak CDA comprises estate associations in the community such as Sanusi Adeyemo, Trinity, Diamond, Babs Alasa and Kessington estates.
In his welcome address at the special dinner/get-together, chairman of the community association, Simon Obinaem, bemoaned the deplorable situation of roads and infrastructure in the community.
His words: “The entire roads in the community, as well as basic infrastructure in the community, are completely in deplorable conditions and urgently need the quick intervention of the Lagos State government. For too long, we have been feeling neglected and abandoned by government, especially when we look at how the roads in other areas are being developed, while the roads and basic infrastructures in Satellite community are completely in despair and abandoned.”
He explained to the residents that the event was organised to deliberate on the poor state of roads in the area and the urgent need to find solutions to ameliorate the situation.
He added that: “It is sad and regrettable that our roads are completely flooded whenever it rains, and it is even more worrisome that both the local and state governments have continued to abandon us, in spite of all our cries and representations to them to come to our aid. Sometimes, we wonder if Satellite is still part of Lagos State.”
In his speech, the chairman on the occasion, Prince Ozo Chukwurah, painted a gloomy picture of the decay of the road network in the area, including how other infrastructure had collapsed, thereby making it a nightmare for commuters and road users in the community whenever it rains.
He noted that it was wrong and unimaginable for the Lagos State government or Oriade Local Council Development Area to continue to feign ignorance of the deplorable roads and other collapsed infrastructure in the community.
Said he: “It is unfortunate, when you go round and see the deplorable nature of roads and infrastructure in this community. The truth is that we feel neglected and abandoned by the Lagos State government, whom we continue to pay taxes and rates to, without any visible development coming to the community.”
Chukwurah charged the residents of the community that it was time for them to deploy their personal connections and network to reach out to those in authority in order to end the neglect and abandonment of the area. He also urged everyone present to financially and materially support all communal efforts aimed at developing the area.
While calling on the residents to brace up and support the development of the community, Chukwurah, a maritime expert, said: “Since it is clear that government, both at the state and local levels, has abandoned us, it has now become our responsibility to do the little we can to remedy this challenging situation we have found ourselves in.”
He averred that it was disheartening how successive administrations in state had failed to rehabilitate the roads, even as he called on the Ambode-led government to urgently intervene in the matter.
He stressed that since the federal authorities sold the areas to individuals and the private sector and moved its base to Abuja, the Lagos State government had not bothered to look into the rehabilitation of basic infrastructure in the community, including its vast road network connecting all the housing estates in the community to the rest of the city.
According to Chukwurah, “We started witnessing prolonged neglect and abandonment of these roads since the federal government moved from Lagos to Abuja and sold off these vast areas to individuals and corporate organisations who invested so much in the sand-filling and development of the community. For too long, the members of the community have continued to tax themselves to develop physical infrastructure like road rehabilitations and construction of drainages in the area. We have spent a lot to give the community a facelift. Members of the community are patriotic citizens who pay their taxes and rates, as well as make other financial obligations to the state government, yet it is sad to say that the state government has not deemed it fit to rehabilitate our roads. We are crying out to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to urgently come to our rescue.”
Also, Hon. Oghene Emma Egoh, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency of Lagos State at the House of Representatives, regretted the collapse of roads and total neglect of the community. He stated that legislators do not control budgets or execute projects, as it was the job of the executive arm of the government to execute projects.
Oghene disclosed how he had made efforts in the past to get the attention of the Lagos State government to rehabilitate the roads without success.
He said: “As a resident of this community and representative of this constituency in the House of Representatives, I feel so sad that we have continued to face these challenges for this long.
“Sincerely, it pains me even more that, having made serious efforts in the past to get the attention of the state government on the need to rehabilitate our roads and having been assured of that, up till now, nothing has been done. I know that the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, is a hard-working governor, with listening ears, and I would want to implore him to do something on Satellite roads. It is unfortunate that the conditions of the roads have deteriorated for a long time due to lack of maintenance by the local government authorities.”
He said the call by the residents of the community for members to support developmental projects in the community was in the right direction, even as he urged everyone to cue into the communal efforts in the area.
The event, which attracted prominent members of the community, was used to raise funds for the development of Satellite Town.