Home Editorial Isolo-Ejigbo-Ikotun road

Isolo-Ejigbo-Ikotun road

One of the more farsighted, innovative, and completely modern urban regeneration and renewal policies of the Governor Raji Fashola administration during his first coming in 2007 was not the creation of Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs (which his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, did, ostensibly to bring development closer to the grassroots).
Instead, it was the drawing up of a development road map for Lagos State in such a way that some city centres, designated and referred to as ‘development hubs,’ will service outlying towns and villages in practical existential terms.
It was a fundamental policy initiative that, sustained, has the potential of decongesting the already built-up and developed parts of Lagos state to bring needed goods and support services closer to those living in the outlying rural hinterlands.
It must have been this motivation that compelled the earlier Fashola administration to embark on the refurbishing and construction of many inner city roads as happened in places like Alimosho LGA where roads in the designated ‘development hubs’ got quality attention.
As with all things human, nothing can stand alone without complementary support from other aspects of life.
For example, a ‘development hub’ that is not accessible by road, water or air, is as good as grounded. To attract the sort of patronage that businesses, organizations and people will normally expect for them to establish in the ‘hubs’ and decongest the major city centres, a passably decent transport network must be in place. This, evidently, the Fashola administration has recognized by initiating such schemes as the light rail transport scheme.
But the problem is that the law of nature dictates that one must crawl before they can walk or run.
Take the case of Alimosho council area of the state which is a major component of what constitutes Lagos State and which in terms of population and electoral votes is a major swing area without which no party in Lagos State could win governorship elections, arguably.
There are many ‘development hubs’ in Alimosho. Some have had their internal roads either refurbished or constructed anew. But all access roads and exits from the enclave are either inadequate, perennially broken down or benignly neglected and unattended to.
From the local government headquarters in Ikotun, residents in the Igando, Lagos State University, LASU, areas and so on have to find their way to Iyana Ejigbo, Isolo, Mushin  or Cele Express bus stops.
The hardship that these tax-paying, voting citizens go through daily, on weekdays and weekends as they go about their businesses is better seen than described. Arguably, the Mushin-Isolo-Ejigbo-Ikotun axis of the road is the most impassable stretch in all of Lagos.
In the past decade or so, the road leading from Isolo to either Mushin or Cele-Express that is on the Oshodi-Apapa expressway bus stop has been one devious eye of the needle through which even the most diligent and calculative cannot escape from being trapped. That of course until recently when the Cele Express axis of that road is witnessing a facelift.
The road to Iyana Ejigbo has caused so much havoc on the wealth and general health of residents of Ikotun and environs, to say the least. This situation daily takes its toll on the state’s BRT buses as they are seen broken down and lying abandoned along the Iyana Ejigbo stretch of the same road.
The situation further gets worse at nights when the traffic controil agents vacate their posts leaving motorists helpless and commuters hopeless.
This transportation gridlock somehow defeats the aim of government to keep residents in their localities where goods and services are available to them. Residents are not sure of how and when they could get in or out of the enclave, businesses are suffering, potential investors are fleeing in horror and even taxis and other transporters dread to ply that route. Overall, everyone loses, most of all government that could have reaped the benefits of city clusters.
On any given day, residents or those unwary of the dangers that the road poses to motorists, motorcyclists, and even pedestrians, could spend a minimum of three hours just to make it past Iyana Ejigbo, stretch of road barely half a kilometre in length.
Because of the perennial flooding on that portion of the road, numerous construction works have been undertaken to no avail. This is a result of the shoddy work that have so far been done.
Since last year, work is being undertaken by a clearly unprepared construction outfit. A more serious-minded construction company would have completed the work within three months and without putting road users through the serious stress of diversions.
Anyone who has had the misfortune of plying that road will confess that it is the road to hell itself.
As it is today, all that the people of Alimosho pray for is that the laborers who have been given the contract to clear up the mess at Iyana Ejigbo would expedite action, create alternative routes for road users or simply throw in the towel as they have proved incapable of doing the job.
Governments at state and local government levels must urgently come to the aid of Alimosho residents by reading the riot act to the contractors, funding them properly, if funding is the problem or simply canceling and re-awarding the contract if it becomes clear that the present contractors cannot perform optimally.
It would be politically unwise to alienate a sizable percentage of the electorate from who the ruling party gets a major chunk of its votes. This, more so when the perception is rife that the State government is concentrating its urban renewal efforts in the already well developed high-brow areas like Ikeja, Surulere, Victoria Island and Lekki.

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