Motorists plying Igbe, Ijede and Gberigbe roads in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State have accused the state government of abandoning the areas, as most of the roads connecting the communities have become almost impassable.
Our correspondent, who visited the areas on Tuesday, observed that all the roads that connect the communities, including Igbe Road, had become dilapidated owing to regular downpour.
A commercial bus driver, Mr Gbenga Jaiye, said many of his colleagues had fallen victim to hoodlums, who seize the opportunity presented by the bad state of the roads to rob them of the money they make from the business.
According to him, apart from the drivers, the hoodlums also rob passengers of cash, telephones and other valuable.
He added that the big stones, which the local government had used to fill up the bad portions of the roads, are threats to motorists as they continually puncture vehicle tyres.
Jaiye, who was at a mechanic workshop to fix his bus, explained that drivers were regularly taking their vehicles for repairs, noting that whatever amount they made was not sufficient to maintain the vehicles.
He added, “I have been in this place since Monday trying to put my vehicle in order. We cannot detect what is actually wrong with the vehicle. What I know is that the day that Ewu Elepe got flooded, I drove the vehicle through the flood water. I later discovered that the flood water got into the vehicle’s tank and the carburettor.
“It is a pity that the government can allow a major road that runs from Itamaga to Ijede and Gberigbe to get so bad. The people who are living in these areas are suffering. We charge each passenger N500 from Ikorodu Garage or Itamaga to either Ijede or Gberigbe. If the road is good, the fare should not exceed N100. Some people go to Ikorodu through Imota. It is terrible.
“Any vehicle that passes through the Imota Road down to Gberigbe at night is usually attacked. We the commercial drivers are frequent victims of these hoodlums on these roads. If the roads were good, the rate of attacks would have been reduced.”
A resident of Gberigbe, Titilope Ojo, said the people had gone to the Lagos State Government Secretariat, Alausa, to report the terrible state of the roads, adding that they had not received any response.
She stated that the only people that visited the area were the local government officials, who tried to construct drainages and used big stones to fill some extremely bad portions of the road.
Efforts to speak with the Information Officer of the state Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Mr Sina Thorpe, were unsuccessful as calls made to his mobile telephone indicated it was switched off. A text message that was sent to him also was not answered.