Tales Of Woe Of Passengers, Commuters On Mile 12- Ikorodu Road
THE popular Mile 12 market, which is situated on Ikorodu Road between Ketu and Weighbridge, can be described as one of the biggest depot for foodstuffs and fresh fruits in Lagos.
Most, if not all the foods and fruits consumed in Lagos usually come from this market. The market has been in existence for over forty years now and is a source of livelihood for so many Nigerians. Thousands of people come to the market daily to eke out a living. The place is always a beehive of activities, from morning to night; it is a market that never sleeps.
Much as this market has been very useful to millions of Nigerians for many years now, it has become a burden for commuters plying this route. Any first time visitor to the market would be confused as to what is really going on. Putting aside the extremely poor sanitary conditions of the market for a second, the market has practically shifted to the main road and is now obstructing vehicular and pedestrian movements.
Traders sell on the road in full glare of the authorities and so far these traders have paid their daily dues to the fee collectors, nobody is bothered with what they do again. The roadsides are strewn with heaps of refuse. Even though there is a massive Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) truck at the entrance of the market for collecting refuses, it is not used by many and when they bother to use it, the refuse is usually dumped under the truck.
One of the commuters, Miss Tolu Oyeniyi regretted that it takes her agonizing hours to get to her office from Ikorodu everyday due to the gridlock on the road along Mile 12 market.
“This distance can be walked in less than thirty minutes on foot. The reason for this perpetual gridlock is not far fetched: the traders display and sell their wares on the service lane.”
Another commuter, Mr Bright Nnaemeka believes that the traders that buy goods from the market to re-sell are part of the problem, because they stand on the service lane to look for vehicles to transport them to their various destinations, effectively destroying the purpose of the service lane(s).
“But the yellow buses popularly called ‘Danfo’ do the greatest damage. The Danfo drivers reign with impunity and flout all known and unknown traffic regulations. From stopping on the road anyhow (usually without any form of warning) to pick passengers on the service lane and even the express, to driving on the median to reckless driving.”
Miss Taiwo Adesope points out that this Danfo driver’s reign of terror goes unchecked by the LASTMA Officials that are supposed to control their excesses because according to her, these drivers ‘settle’ the LASTMA and ‘Yellow Fever’ officials whenever they want to pick passengers and so the officials look the other way even when they are obviously blocking the road.
“Most times, when one gets to Mile 12 after wasting valuable time in the traffic, you will discover that just the usual danfo drivers excesses that is responsible for the traffic.”
One of the traders, Miss Ayo who sells fruits at the market says that the Danfo drivers are not the only one responsible for the traffic.
She claims that the trailers conveying goods usually from the North are responsible for the perpetual gridlock on the axis.
“Many times, the trailers are parked on the service lane offloading their goods with little or no regard for other road users.”
A trailer driver that spoke to The Guardian on condition of anonymity said they usually pay to enter the market and pay to off-load their goods, so they could park where they like.”
She added that Fridays are the worst days to ply the route. “The gridlock is always worse on Fridays. Due to the traffic, armed robbers now operate at night almost. My sister and I had been robbed twice in this area.”
Another trader, Mrs Adesope said that cart pushers and pedestrians trying to cross the main road are also part of the people causing the traffic.
Another commuter, Alhaji Isa Idris said that though a lot of blame rests on the shoulders of the transporters, passengers were also culpable.
“They encourage the Danfo drivers to cause traffic by standing on the express road to board buses; if they stood only at designated bus stops, the drivers would be forced to come and meet their passengers there.”
The Mile 12 axis is not the only area affected as Ketu, which is just a few meters away is another plethora of gridlock especially at closing hours.
The Commuters are appealing to the government to provide a lasting solution to the problem of gridlock in the area.