If there is anything suggestive and/or indicative of the fact that the Ambode-led Administration had underperformed, it will definitely be the seemingly odious and unending traffic congestion that had become the norm in most areas of Lagos State.
Despite complaints from different quarters, the governor had done nothing to put a halt to this imbroglio. This is disgusting!
Just like some other parts of Lagos, the supposed centre of “excellence”, the Volks-Mile 2 road is usually locked in an irritating traffic jam. And this is applicable to both the way en route to and from Mile 2.
The situation is becoming unavoidably annoying that one cannot say if one would meet up with appointments. Workers are always put in disappointment with the current condition of the road.
If they are not careful, they may lose their jobs as a result. If as a woman you are in labour and you wouldn’t want your offspring to become an “Abiona”, it is better you keep off this road!
So, just like many other residents of Lagos, I witnessed this unfriendly situation last week. I was to join a function at about 11:00 am or thereabouts. I, therefore, prepared myself as earlier as possible. I boarded a bus en route to Mile 2 from Shibiri at exactly 9.10 a.m.
Under a normal circumstance, I should get to Mile 2 by 10:30 am or thereabouts. But the avoidable traffic standstill would soon prove my thought wrong. I got to Mile 2 around 1:00 pm. By that time, the function had been concluded. I did not only waste my money but also my efforts. If I had used that time to relax, I know the amount of strength I would have gained.
This is my own case. Others’ might be critical. Some might actually be aiming to meet a business target or appointment on that very day. And that was how their hopes were dashed with the avoidable traffic kerfuffle.
I can assure you that if you want to go to Ibadan from say Oshodi at that same time; you will not only arrive at the destination before the 1:00 pm spent to reach Mile 2 from Volks, but also return to Oshodi before that time.
All we are saying is that the governor, with profound respect, should find a lasting solution to these endless gridlocks on the roads of Lagos. This is why he holds the political will. And this is why we have submitted our rights to him as in Hobbes’ social contract.
First, the palpable causes of this congestion should be identified and thereafter, proffer workable solution.
One of the many causes that could be adduced to this jam is the manner in which trailer-drivers have turned Lagos roads to the car park of a sort. A number of media houses had expressed concerns over this attitude in their editorials. But the government is looking the other way.
Perhaps, the trailer owners are the untouchable or whom we can call the sacred cows that are more equal than other animals in Orwellian Farm. If not, the government should fish the owners and drivers out and accord the appropriate punishment to them for their in-your-face demeanour to rules applying to the use of roads.
Another cause is that some recalcitrant drivers block the road unnecessarily in order to feather their own nests at the expense of other road users. One may be forced to ask in this instance what the roles of the men of the FRSC, LASTMA and of course, the police are. Needless to say that there is a barrack along the Volks-Mile 2 way.
If insurgents launch ravaging attacks on the State, where will our soldiers pass through? The congested road? Should we have an emergency case(s), where is the route to toe? This is why the khaki men must see it as a responsibility to intervene in this palaver; though not their constitutional duty.
I must confess that the military men have swung into action since the inception of the gridlock. However, they have not been doing enough. We all know how they clear, even the craziest gridlock when their superior or the VIPs attached to them is on the way.
The deplorable state of the road is also a telling factor in this regard. The government should fast-track the repair of this road. The work progress is at a snail speed. In all, something must be done, and urgently!
By Abdullah Abdulganiy, University of Ilorin
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