Task Force activities worsen Oshodi-Ikeja traffic gridlock

Motorists and other road users plying Ikeja axis on the Abeokuta-Agege motor road have called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other stakeholders involved in traffic management in the state to call the Task Force officials stationed at under bridge Ikeja to order, to lessen the gridlock on the axis.

Findings revealed that the officials were drafted to the bus stop to curb the excesses of commuter buses and commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada, who on daily basis block the ever-busy expressway in the course of picking passengers.

Investigation showed that from Bolade bus stop, Oshodi to Ikeja- along, which shouldn’t take more than seven minutes, motorist spend more than one and a half hours within the area.

When the Task Force was drafted there, many had expressed optimism that an end had come to the perennial traffic jam in the area; but instead, their presence worsened the traffic challenge.

For now, journeying between Oshodi and Ikeja-along, has even gone beyond the arduous one and a half hours to three, four hours, worsening the traffic jam.

The Guardian observed that one of the factors contributing to this is their method of forceful arrest of commuter buses and Okada on motion, which forces the flow to slow down, especially in the morning and evening when workers are returning home.

Another cause is the blocking of the BRT lanes, which serves as alternatives to lessen the gridlock.

While blocking the lanes with a white truck and Black Maria, which often lasts the whole day, as late as 10pm, the officials, comprising of Mobile Police Officers, and other para-military officials armed with guns, stand at specific areas to extort motorists.

A banker, Olajide Johnson, who resides in Agbado and works in Ikoyi, described the situation as worrisome, as officials drafted to manage traffic aggravated it.

“What they do most times is stopping vehicles on motion. And when they do this, it affects traffic flow. At the initial stage, some of us parked our cars at home and embraced the use of Okada, but they soon began to clamp down on them and it really added to the agony on the road.

“While coming back at night, if you get to Oshodi by 6pm, if you are lucky, you’ll be in Ikeja under-bridge by 9pm. And at the end, you wont see obstruction, apart the Task Force having a field day, extorting motorists. It is a terrible scenario that the governor must quickly address,” he said.

A commuter bus driver, Olajide Emiola, said the development has gravely contributed to increase in transport fare, due to wasted time and fuel.

“It is as if government has opened a shop for the Task Force, where they arrest and extort their victims. Their excesses have turned them to nuisance on the axis.

“We are not saying government should not maintain orderliness in the area, but they should do it in a way that will make things better not to add to the agony of road users. They are constituting nuisance on the road.”

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