- As Lawmaker, Setonji David Seeks Governments’ Intervention
Some concerned residents and stakeholders in Badagry area of Lagos State have lamented the condition of Lagos-Badagry Expressway just as a lawmaker is seeking governments’ intervention.
The residents, who spoke during interviews, expressed their disappointment with the situation of the road and urged the Lagos State and Federal Governments to urgently reconstruct the road.
The lawmaker, representing Badagry Constituency 2 in the State Assembly, Hon. Setonji David, who also spoke in an interview, stated that the road has become an eyesore and a death trap
He emphasised that the road is overdue for massive reconstruction and that the people of Badagry have been cut off from civilization due to the bad state of the road.
“I am short of words to describe the situation of the road.
“I had a meeting in Lagos for 1 pm today on Tuesday and I left Badagry at 6am, but I got to Lagos at 1:30 p.m. We travel there for six hours instead of 40 minutes.
“You can imagine what the people of Badagry are going through. I wish you pass through the road.
“It is a Federal Government road, and it is only in Nigeria that you see something like that happening.
“The road has failed. I am a civil engineer by profession, and I know that what is there is beyond maintenance, it is total reconstruction that we need on the road.
“How can you allow a road of over 50 kilometres, an international road, double carriageway to be damaged to that extent.
“As I am talking to you now, commercial vehicles are no longer plying Lagos- Badagry Expressway. It is on rare occasion that you see a few vehicles.
“People don’t want to use their vehicles to ply such a terrible road. I think we are cut off from Lagos,” he said.
Mr. Podo Segla, a resident of Ajara in Badagry and a youth activist, said that one cannot quantify the economic loss of transporters and commuters on Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
Segla recounted how he once slept in Agbara, a town in the area, on his way from Lagos Island due to the condition of the road.
“The bad spot starts from Low Cost Housing and when you get to Barracks, you’ll see a deep pit. The same goes for Limca and Aradagun Bus Stops.
“Sand filling is going on between Aradagun and Mowo and you’ll see five police check points, one FRSC point and two Customs Check Points within one kilometre of the road” he said.
Another resident of Badagry, Mr. Hokon Segun said that there is no portion of the expressway that is good, and that driving on the road without issues is impossible.
“Lagos-Badagry Expressway is like a punishment; people abandon their vehicles on the road regularly.
“No part of the road is motorable and you cannot travel on the road if you have hypertension.
“Multiple police checkpoints make the road worse as the officers collect money from motorists, especially commercial bus drivers with impunity.
“This is an international road through where the government makes millions of naira, it is a big shame that it remains in a bad shape for years,” he stated.
Mr. Nuatin Genesis, on his part, urged the Federal and Lagos State Governments to intervene and repair the road.
He however, praised Hon. Setonji David for the several motions he has raised on the road and for his personal efforts on the road.
Another concerned resident, Mr. Hunwei Abel said that passing through a bush path is better than passing through Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
Hunwei stated that the health of the residents of Badagry is being affected due to the condition of the road.
“Hon. Setonji David has done a lot through motions on the floor of the state house of assembly.
“He has written letters to the Federal and State Governments on the need to repair the road.
“He is a legislator, he is not a commissioner, so there is little he could do.
“This is a road that goes as far as Orile and Eric Moore, but it is terrible from Mile 2 down to Badagry.
“We all saw the hardship of our people on the road since the rain started this year,” he said.
These were corroborated by another resident of the area, Mr. Isiaka Okunade, a public servant.
Okunade said that travelling to Badagry from Agbara to Odofa, Magbon, Oko Afo, MTN, Mowo, Aradegun, Ibereko, and Sawmill before Badagry Roundabout is terrible.
He stressed that the road is usually blocked once rain falls, which he said hampers the movement of people to and fro the town.
“Our population has reduced and our economy is bad because of the state of the road,” he said.
In his comment, a youth leader from Ilogbo Eremi, who is a member of the State Oil and Gas Committee, Oba Goriola Amos, described some parts of the road as death traps.
“You would spend almost 12 hours to reach Badagry from Mile 2 and people coming to Badagry from Alausa usually do so through the waterways, which is very expensive,” he said.
In her view, Mrs. Dupe Ogunyemi also agreed that many parts of Lagos-Badagry Expressway have become death traps.
Ogunyemi appealed to the Federal and Lagos State Governments to repair the roads as soon as possible.
She revealed that traveling between Mile 2 and Badagry has led to hospitalisation of several residents of the area, saying that passing through the road is painful.
While stating that the road was constructed by the Federal Government from Badagry to Mile 2, Hon. David said that the Lagos State Government took over some aspects of the road from Orile Iganmu to Mile 2, but that Okokomaiko to Badagry has become an eyesore.
He added that the carriageway has failed completely, and that if anyone passes the road, he would wonder if the area was in a war situation and that rain has worsened the situation.
His words: “That road has been like that for the past five years or so. Recently, the Federal Government awarded some parts of the road, and the little they have done has been washed away by the rain. The state of the road is now terrible.
“Another problem that we have on the road is that of extortion by security agents.
“It is only on Lagos-Badagry Expressway that in every two kilometers, you see a police checkpoint and they are there everyday making life miserable for our people. You cannot see less than 20 police checkpoints on the road.
“They are even making life worse for our people. You see a police checkpoint even after one kilometer. It is terrible, so we are appealing to both the State and Federal Governments to assist us on that because it is causing a lot of headaches and hazards for our people.
“There are cases of people having health emergencies and due to the state of the road, the vehicle would break down and the patient would die.”
The lawmaker revealed that they had made a lot of presentations to the governments in terms of appealing to them to do something about the road.
These, he said, must have led to the latest award of the road to contractors, but that this has not translated to anything positive because the case of the road is still the same.
He then appealed to the Federal Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola and the Federal Government to assist them on the road.
He stressed that the Federal Government makes a lot of money from import duties at Seme Border “as it is an international road and inspite of that they abandoned the road.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to come to our aid on the road and assist us so that our people can start enjoying the road.”
On the effect of the road on the economy of the people of Badagry, the lawmaker said that economic activities in Badagry had been eroded because of the road.
According to him, “which business activity can thrive in such a situation? No business can survive in such an area. Nobody wants to come there to do business anymore and things are very expensive in Badagry now.
“To bring goods from Lagos metropolitan to Badagry costs a lot of money and this makes life difficult for our people. You will be amazed at what our people are going through now.
“That is why I said that I know what we go through each time we pass through Lagos-Badagry Expressway. So, we are appealing to the Federal Government to come to our aid.”
On the issue of extortion on the road by security men, the lawmaker said that there was a meeting with the authorities of the security agencies in the area.
“The chairmen of Badagry Local Government and the two Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) in Badagry and myself held a meeting with the police, the Nigerian Army, the Customs and others to complain about the activities of their men on the road.
“They promised that it would get better, but the situation remains the same.
“That was about two months ago and I was at the meeting with other stakeholders. Most of us who were representing Badagry, including the council chairmen, my colleague that is representing Badagry Constituency 1 in the Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Layode and myself were at the meeting to complain about the challenges we face with their men on the road.
“I can assure you that most of these checkpoints are illegal, but not all of them,” he said.