The federal and Lagos State governments have continued to look away as the failed portion of phase-3 Apapa-Ijora Road cries for attention. This failed portion, stretching over 100 metres, has turned into a death-trap with gullies and ditches in which motorists ‘die’ on daily basis.
This also affects all businesses located in Ijora and environs who can no longer take their products to the market in good time, nor can they respond to emergencies because the roads don’t permit them. “We are trapped, to say the least,” a worker with a maritime services provider in the area told this reporter Friday morning.
Governments and their officials appear to be either too busy or too insensitive to notice that motorists have a lot to contend with on that road. According to Charles Idoko who works in Apapa and plies the road every day, “besides spending hours on that spot and the risk of getting attacked by hoodlums, the wear and tear on our vehicles is something to worry about too.”
Read also: Apapa-Ijora road turns death trap, thugs take advantage
“At all levels, governance seems to be on holiday and that is the only thing that can explain why, in the last six months, this road has been moving from bad to worse and nobody cares. What we see here every day is a throw-back of the worst days of Apapa gridlock,” Idoko noted.
According to him, whatever are the gains of the Eto App technology that has cleared Apapa gridlock substantially in the last one year, are being rubbished by the terrible scenes on Apapa-Ijora Road which should be a source of worry to aby government, federal or state or both.
Driving experience on this road is quite unerving and this is made worse and riskier by the ever-present hoodlums who are taking advantage of the poor state of the road to attack motorists, especially at night when they break their wind-shield and make away with their valuables.
Since March 23, 2022 when Akpongbon Bridge was burnt by fire, leading to the closure of Eko Bridge to traffic, getting out of Apapa has become a nightmare. Motorists leaving the Island to the mainland have been forced to use Carter Bridge that ultimately ends them at Ijora Olopa to reconnect Eko Bridge.
For that reason, the exit route from Apapa through Ijora Olopa is ever congested, leaving motorists with the difficult choices of taking Apapa-Ijora Road which is now a death-trap or the gridlock at Ijora Olopa.
“It is always a tough decision to make. Ijora-Olopa moves at snail pace while Apapa-Ijora Road is most of the time at stand-still. When it moves, if you are not careful, that is if you don’t look well and calculate well, you will fall into a ditch and that automatically makes you an easy prey to the hoodlums,” Emmanuel Ofoegbu, who lives in Okota but has his business in Apapa, said.
Ofoegbu said that for the simple reason that Eko Bridge is closed to traffic with the diversion of traffic to Carter Bridge and the ripple gridlock effect on Apapa, Oyingbo and other adjoining areas, government should have done something about Apapa-Ijora Road, even if just a palliative measure.
For Lagos residents, this is not the best of times in terms of movement in and around the metropolis.
The story of Apapa-Ijora Road is not an isolated one. It only differs from others because of its life-threatening nature and coming almost immediately after respite came the way of Apapa residents and businesses who, for 12 years, were suffocated by gridlock.
Almost everywhere in Lagos is locked down by traffic congestion that keeps commuters at a spot for hours. The experience is the same on Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Ikorodu Road, Ejigbo-Okota-Isolo Road, Abulegba Road, Abeakuta Motor Road, etc.
The federal government who owns some of the roads in the sprawling city is not helping matters. Going by their projections, it will be taking them nine whole months to repair the burnt section of the Akpongbon Bridge and for so long will Eko Bridge be closed, the gridlock persist and motorists suffer.
Forosola Oloyede, the Acting Controller of Works in Lagos, told this reporter that they have the next six months to complete the repair work on the bridge. “We want to do it well and to do it well, it has to take time, up to the next six months,” she said in a telephone interview.
This means that, for motorists on that axis, there is no respite in sight. “But why can’t Lagos State government intervene in the repair of this bridge which the federal government does not seem to take as an emergency?” Ofoegbu wondered, noting, “this is a major route to the state’s business hub being treated as a pathway in a hinterland; Lagos residents deserve more than they are getting.”