Why Some Oshodi Residents Are Sad
RESIDENTS and landlords of Aviation Estate, Ayodele, Ajibulu, Ade-Idowu and neighbouring streets in Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos State, are unhappy.
Their grouse is the uncompleted bridge project expected to link Ajibulu-Mafoluku and the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road. Delayed for almost a decade, the construction, which would have eased traffic, has turned into a source of pain.
Residents said flooding, as a result of the uncompleted bridge, has destroyed properties worth millions of naira. Prophet Magnus Olagundoye, who owns a church on Ade-Idowu street, lamented: “We have suffered a lot because of flood in this area. In 2011, properties worth millions were destroyed. The floodwater was so high; it rose to window level. All our church equipment was destroyed. We reported the matter to Oshodi local government, demanding compensation. But there was no positive result.
“What we are clamouring for is that the contractor open the canal. The rainy season is fast approaching and we don’t wish to experience another flooding. If the canal is opened and gutters are fixed, flooding would become a thing of the past. Attempt was made to open up the canal but it was not properly done.”
Elder Omojola Eso, who also lives in the area, said government has failed to fulfill its promises. He said the project has lasted eight years without completion, and blamed corrupt politicians for the delay.
He said: “This is the eighth year of this project. We will not praise government because they are constructing a bridge; it is their responsibility. They have failed to complete this bridge on time. We have been to several places to lodge our complaint. We have been to the councilor. We have been to the member who represents this area in the House of Representatives. We have also been to the council chairman. They all keep making promises. It is corruption that has made this bridge to be uncompleted till now. Personally, I lost property worth millions of naira to flooding in 2012 without receiving any compensation.
“Sand and gravel worth millions of naira have been lost here. Some times, the contractor would bring construction materials here and abandon them for months. And when flood comes, it washes the materials away.”
A landlord and former ward chairman in the area, Elder Simeon Oyeboade Adegorite, said series of letters had been written to the Lagos State government on the need to complete the bridge and open the blocked canal.
He said: “We want to use this medium to plead with government that we, the people of Ajibulu and Ade-Idowu community and Aviation Estate, want the two concrete gutters from our street to link the canal, to prevent a flood disaster in our community. We would like the contractor to also make provision for pedestrians.
“We want to draw the attention of the Lagos State government via the Ministry of Works to the difficulty our people face, as a result of the blocked canal and uncompleted bridge. We have experienced losses since the project started. Our major challenge is the blockage of the canal by the previous construction company. Our appeal is that government opens up the blocked drainage, to allow free flow of water from Ajibulu and its environs into the canal, especially now that the rains are coming.”
For Emmanuel Kunle, he would only vote for leaders who would complete the bridge and open the blocked canal.
He said: “Election is coming. I will only vote for a leader who would save us from flooding. The major problem we have is lack of drainage. The company constructing the bridge has caused us havoc. The channel is not wide enough and it prevents water from moving freely. The life and property of our people are in danger. We want the state government to come to our rescue. Two years ago my family members lost properties worth millions of naira, as a result of flooding. The construction company has been here for over a decade and yet the project has not been completed.”
Israel Ugoji said: “It is time for us to vote leaders carefully because we are tired of failed promises. We need leaders who would be honest with us, who would complete the bridge and open up the canal.”
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