What catastrophe must happen to spur the “federal” government to action on the Lagos/Ibadan “express road”?

by Tola Adenle

With news of the traffic that paralyzed the usual really worst part of the Lagos/Ibadan so-called “express” road last weekend, one wonders what catastrophe would have to happen to wake the government up.  News of Soyinka and two governors caught in the traffic were splashed in most newspapers over the past weekend and here’s the link to The Nation’s report:  http://www.thenationonlineng.net/2011/index.php/news/30976-soyinka-amosun-amaechi-stranded-on-lagos-ibadan-expressway.html

I’m surprised both Governors Amaechi and Amosun did not device ways of getting out of the usual mess as often happens but generally with presidents and governors never having to suffer the harrowing hardships of Armageddon-type traffic chaos while in office, it would have to take close family members of a sitting president getting into serious physical health issue as a result of the problem – pardon me – before something is finally done about it.

The road, like most common wealth, is already concessioned to a company that seems not in any hurry to spend money before harvest time starts with the construction of toll booths.

There is hardly anybody who travels the road who has not been caught in the gridlock that happens all the time at least once, and for those who have to travel it a lot for business or for family engagements, it’s become routine.  Time was when you could travel the less-than-100-miles between Ibadan and Lagos in under two hours; not any more.

It started with the Redeemed Church (RCCG) and others setting up prayer camps along the road in the 90s.  Once every month when the RCCG holds its “Holy Ghost Night”, the devil descends on what has become a sort of road to hell.  As it always happens when things are bad in Nigeria, “better” is not a next stage but “worse”.

The troublesome points on the road have multiplied, with the Ogun old toll point becoming a close second to the RCCG hell-on-earth point.  There, 18-wheelers, trucks of all sizes most of which supposedly belong to one of the lords and masters of Nigeria, whizkid/businessman, Alhaji Dangote and hawkers combine to make the area impassable.  At one point when former Governor Gbenga Daniel reportedly asked the trucks to move from the double-parking that makes the road easily susceptible to traffic mayhems, the drivers – mostly Northerners – reportedly refused to move.  Worse, they blockaded the road by driving trucks across the roads.  There’s a lot of ethnic tension in the country and one can therefore never really know what ethnocentricity lies beneath stories but I did hear that Gbenga Daniel had to capitulate because the “Hausas” would never obey such rules.

It’s worth noting here that Alhaji Dangote who was recently decorated with the CFR which is next to what presidents award to themselves and other past presidents, should recognize that his citations for being a great business calls for civic-mindedness.

After going through the hellish traffic that originated at Rev. Adeboye’s RCCG and the NASFAT camp some years ago, I wrote an essay for The Comet on Sunday, an essay that was recently reproduced here:  http://emotanafricana.com/2011/07/25/its-a-mad-mad-world/.

Since the road is the main artery that links not only the beginning of the South with the North but also the busiest vehicular segment of any road in Nigeria, it is time government pays attention to this Road from Hell.

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6 Comments on “What catastrophe must happen to spur the “federal” government to action on the Lagos/Ibadan “express road”?”

  1. Adebisi Says:

    The recurring and ever-worsening traffic blockade on the so-called Lagos-Ibadan express road is but one of the very vivid manifestation of the plague afflicting manyNIgerians, beginniing with so-called leaders: SELFISHNESS AND INSENSITIVITY TO THE PLIGHT AND WELFARE OF OTHERS. As you rightly said, until a sitting President is personally traumatised, and until the FRSC can do what it was originally established to do, nothing will be done to eliminate this menace.

    Reply

    • emotan77 Says:

      Thanks v. much. The FRSC has long departed from its original brief that followed what Wole Soyinka started between Ibadan and Ife to bring sanity to that little segment of the Nigerian roads. Now, the corps is just like any government agency: collecting bribes on highways with no thought to safety of road users. In fact, the bribes they demand and often get run into thousands of Naira.

      When the “express” road is all blocked, there are no corps members in sight to sort things out even when the mess runs into hours.

      Regards,
      TOLA.

      Reply

  2. Falade A.G. Says:

    ”It started with the Redeemed Church (RCCG) and others setting up prayer camps along the road in the 90s. Once every month when the RCCG holds its “Holy Ghost Night”, the devil descends on what has become a sort of road to hell. As it always happens when things are bad in Nigeria, “better” is not a next stage but “worse”.”

    I’m aware that the fallen archangel Lucifer, satan was bound about 70 years ago! So, this shame of a country has nothing to do with the nefarious activity of satan. But, as Jesus, the Love of God personified once said:”By their fruits, you shall know them.”
    The apparently insoluble problem of chaotic traffic jam along this express road may not be unconnected with the ”Ill health” of the powerful Nigerian elites!

    Reply

  3. Folabi ayoola Says:

    I wonder why so-called leaders fail to know the need of the people. Or, may be the needs might be known to them but they do not want shortage of funds that would reach their personal pockets, hence needed projects would not be implemented. There are challenges on our highways because none of our leaders want to be financially distressed after leaving office; we should expect carnage on our roads to continue.

    Reply

    • emotan77 Says:

      Thanks, Mr. Ayoola. It seems we can complain till world’s end but until presidents, governors, etcetera know that looting leads to loss of stolen funds and jail time, there’s never going to be change. We must, however, never stop writing and complaining because all these crimes against the people are being recorded and they will need to be paid for at some future date. Regards, TOLA.

      Reply

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