By Job Osazuwa, Lagos
Residents of Aka Road, Ajangbadi, in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State have called on the governor of the state, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to come to their aid over a failed major road that connects the area.
The residents have complained that they are enduring untold hardship and huge economic loss owing to the dilapidated nature of Aka Road and other link roads in the area.
Motorists and commuters alike are finding it difficult to access the area. Their woes are worsened whenever it rains as many of them have bought rubber boots to swim their way through the stagnant pool of water on the road.
It was gathered that vehicle owners have since abandoned their cars at home and now left at the mercy of commercial motorcycle riders.
When the reporter visited the area, he discovered that from Okokomaiko to Ajangbadi through Aka Road has been completely cut off. Vehicles coming from Okokomaiko cannot get to Ajangbadi; the journey is truncated at Church Bus Stop. People have to continue their journey by trekking through the potholes that dotted a long stretch of the road.
The reporter also noticed that the Canal at Corner Bus Stop was blocked with waste and sand, thereby pushing the water to take over the road. To the residents of the area, it has been gnashing of teeth.
Speaking on the situation, the Baale of Ajangbadi, Chief Teslin Jimoh Yakuju, Oniba 1, told the reporter that he has called on both the state and local governments to help fix the road. He said that he was promised that something would be done about it in 2022.
As a temporary relief, the Baale called for a quick palliative measure on the road pending when the comprehensive repair would be done.
‘The situation has affected us so much all , including landlords, shop owners and motorists. Vehicles coming to Ajangbadi from Okokomaiko can no longer get to their destination. We have called on Ojo local government and the state government, they said they would do it but not this year. As we are in rainy season, businesses are closing everyday. How long shall our people continue to suffer?,’ he said.
Yakubu stressed that he has in the past called on the residents to on their own, help in maintaining the road, which they did. But he said that self-help was not enough in finding a lasting solution to the road.
‘Before, I use to gather the community, so we do the little we could just to enable vehicles access the road, but now the road has totally collapsed. Businesses are vacating from the environment because of the situation,’ he said.
A trader in the area, Mr Bennett Ositadimma Okolie, whose shop is located on the affected road, lamented that they have been suffering on the road for over three years. He maintained that the traders on the axis were no longer making any reasonable sales. In his words, paying shop rent has become difficult.
‘As you can see, no vehicle is passing here. Before now, vehicle owners would see our goods and stop to patronize us. But everyone now avoids the road and our businesses are suffering,’ he said.
Okolie frowned on what he called wickedness on the side of the government. He said that irrespective of their situation, they still pay different taxes to the government.
‘Even as the bad road has crippled our businesses, we still pay tax to the government. Sometimes we quarrel with them.
‘In the past the man that owns New Planet Resorts in the area used to maintain the road for us. But that has stopped due to irreconcilable differences with some government official,’ he stated.
Also speaking, a pharmacist in the neighbourhood, Mr Chiyere Ugoeze, said that he use to stock up to N20 million worth of goods in his shop, but now, he could not boast of N500,000 worth of goods.
‘We are begging the governor of Lagos to come and repair the road for us all to no avail. We are not asking for much. Even if it is just to fill the roads so that vehicles could be playing it, pending when they would do the main job, we would appreciate it,’ Ugoeze said.