Sango/Owode: Bad road sinks motorists, pedestrians in depression
Weeks after the signing of the much-awaited 2016 budget by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, the Lagos/Abeokuta express road has been left unattended to, as motorists and other road users, have continued to experience serious nightmare.
The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), mandated by the Federal Ministry of Works, for its regular maintenance, is helpless, as nothing seems to be working on the road. With the incessant rainfall, it has been serious tales of anguish and annoyance from motorists and travelers, who are complaining bitterly.
The state of the road from the old Tollgate through Sango garage, Joju junction, Conoil junction, Owode, Iyana Ilogbo, Ilepa to Arigbajo in Ewekoro Local Government area of the state, has become an eyesore. Workers, traders, transporters and other motorists, commuting through the road have in recent time been experiencing hell due to the heavy traffic jam, caused by the terrible condition of the road.
The road is in a serious mess due to several potholes and ditches, causing fatal accidents on weekly basis, with several casualties recorded.
The most horrible areas now are the Sango garage, Joju (opposite IBEDC office), Owode, Iyana-Ilogbo and Ilepa. Traffic situation in these areas are always at a standstill, defying all known solutions. The police and traffic control officials are always helpless because the situation is beyond their control.
The trip from Sango to Ifo, which shouldn’t exceed 20 minutes, may take up to one and a half hours, depending on the time of the day, especially on weekends or whenever there is heavy downpour.
The valley at the Joju junction and the craters at Conoil, Owode, Iyana-Ilogbo and Ilepa, are the major albatross. Motorists can spend more than forty minutes in each of the areas. The bad portions are getting wider with great speed, especially with the incessant rain, causing more discomfort to road users.
For example, at the Owode spot, many vehicles, both cars and trucks had been trapped on several occasions. As at the last count, five fuel tankers had spilled their contents on the spot after getting stuck as a result of the state of the road.
The last was the Easter Monday accident that grounded the ever-busy road for over six hours. The major problem of the spot is that there is no functional drainage system, to channel erosion and the water.
Whenever there is heavy downpour the road is always flooded, becoming a no- go-area for motorists and even pedestrians with its mud-spattered nature. The unfortunate thing is that there is no link road that can serve as escape routes for trapped motorists.
One of the reasons adduced for the terrible condition of the road, was the alleged exclusion of FERMA from the 2015 budgetary provisions, which hamper the activities of the agency to act maximally.
Though FERMA applied hard-core stones on the spot two weeks ago, but the palliative appears to have no effect on the road, as the incessant rainfall had further dug up the potholes.
Considering the efforts of the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who, through the State Public Works Department fixed the dreadful Ile-Epo/Oja, Dopemu, among others, motorists opined that Ogun State governor ought to toe that line, as the road is within Ado-Odo/Ota council area, where the state gets the large chunk of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), since the federal government and its agency, FERMA, has failed in their constitutional duty to maintain the road.
A motorist, Alhaji Idowu Lasisi described the state of the road as awful. He noted that on daily basis, commuter buses on the axis always spend extra money to repair their vehicles, due to the effect of the bad road. He added that one of the reasons for the sudden increase in transport fare the state of the road.
“We implore FERMA and Ogun State government to put their heads together and fix this road. It is not our responsibility to take over the responsibility of government after paying our taxes and other duties. The only dividend of democracy that the masses enjoy from government is good road, but if we no longer enjoy that, then government should admit that it has failed woefully.”
In a telephone chat with the FERMA boss in charge of Ogun State, Alexander Mazoya, he said his agency is aware of the state of the road but “we have contacted our headquarters. The budget delay also affected us, but something will be done soon.”
When asked how soon the road will be fixed, Mazoya couldn’t give any particular date “you know the budget has just been signed, so, we will keep reminding them at our headquarters.”
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