The people of Onipetesi Community Development Association have lamented the absence of a U-turn in the Idi-Mango/Onipetesi end of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the CDA included residents of Onipetesi, Onilekere, Cement and Santos Layout areas, all in the Alimosho Local Government Area.
It was reported that the absence of the U-turn had resulted in loss of man-hour and hospital patients in emergencies sometime died in the long traffic.
According to the Chairman of the CDA, Kunle Amosun, the community is at a disadvantage because the only route to the community is on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
He said, “It is important to note that the expressway was constructed many years ago without regard to the fact that there would be rapid development within the adjourning communities.
“The completion of BRT lanes on the Lagos/Abeokuta Expressway, without a U-turn at the Idi-Mango/Onipetesi end of the road, will cause this community incalculable damage and discomfort.
“On the Ikorodu Road, for instance, the government took into cognisance people living around the area. This is also true of the Agege Motor Road, where there are U-turns almost at every bus stop. Why should our case be different?”
The chairman said attempts by the community to reach out to the government had been abortive.
“We have contacted two former ministers of works, who promised to look into the issue, but to no avail. Letters have been written to the Lagos State Government on the matter.
“We have also initiated a move to meet the legislator representing the area, Folami Mohammed, but he claimed he was on vacation.
“We met the contractors working on the road, but they said there was nothing they could do as they were working on a plan given by the Lagos State Government. All our efforts so far have yielded no result.
“We beg Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to use his good offices to create a U-turn at Idi-Mangoro/Onipetesi end on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.”
A community leader, Mr Sam Emiowele, said the BRT lane was a welcome development, adding that the government should use the opportunity to correct the anomaly.
He said, “We appreciate the BRT lane; it is a welcome development, but we believe that this is an ideal time with the massive construction going on now. It will be quite easy to incorporate a U-turn.
“It is an anomaly that it is only between Ikeja and Abule Egba that there are no U-turns. If we get out of the traffic through a U-turn, other road users would have lighter traffic to contend with. We are insistent on it now because once the construction of the BRT lane is done, nobody will come back to it,” he said.
A resident, Ayo Owoborode, said, “This agitation started in 2001 during the government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. But conflict of political interest at the state and federal level stalled it. Now we have cooperation between the Federal Government and Lagos State Government. The road is under the Federal Government and the government has given Lagos State the right to create a BRT lane. It is the duty of the state government to do the U-turn to safeguard people’s lives.”
The Director, Transport Policy Planning and Coordination, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Dr T.O. Salaam, in his response to one of the letters by the community, dated September 5, 2017, said the request for a U-turn was not granted because it could worsen traffic situation on the road.
The Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Mr Tunji Bakare, however, told PUNCH Metro on the telephone that the ministry could not handle the request.
He said, “The Ministry of Works is in charge when it comes to construction of roads. Since the road is under construction, the ministry of transportation is not involved.”
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