The closure of the Ikorodu/Oba Omolaja (Igbogbo) road by the men of the Lagos State Public Work Corporation (LSPWC) almost degenerated into crisis today.
Motorists, commercial motorcycle riders and residents who were caught unaware by the closure of the Oriwu Model College, Ikorodu, first and second gate sections of the road became agitated when they discovered that the road was closed without any alternative.
The situation resulted into heated arguments and almost degenerated into a crisis as some LSPWC workers threatened to call in the police to arrest some of the aggrieved residents and motorists and impound any motorcycles in sight.
It took the intervention of our reporter who mediate to calm fray nerves at the scene of incident.
While the face-off between the residents and LSPWC workers were going on, there were also physical engagements among passengers, motorists and okada riders also as a result of the closure.
THE IMPACT gathered that some passengers refused to pay the taxi drivers and okada riders since they were unable to convey them to their agreed destinations.
The tensed situation, which occurred around 12.30pm, forced motorists and other road users coming from Ikorodu to go back to Iresehe road to connect Aga and Ipakodo-Igbogbo road, while those coming from Igbogbo were forced to go through Igbogbo – Ipakodo road.
Speaking with a passenger who simply identified himself as Ogunlaja from Igbogbo, stated:
“This is very wrong. Why closing the road during working hours? While we appreciate the rehabilitation work, I strongly think that it should be done at night as it was announced by the state government.”
Also, a female resident told our reporter that:
“There was no notice by the government that this road would be closed and we went out through this road in the morning without any notice or warning by those that are working that the road would be closed. This is very bad.
“They ought to have provided alternative route and in the absence of that, they should have closed a lane where they would be working on and control traffic on the other side that they would open for motorists and other road users”, she suggested.
A man, who stated that he just passed through the road just a few minutes back to pick something at Igbogbo for his daughter at Oriwu College before the closure, demanded to see the Site Engineer but to no avail.
While the closure of the road was condemned by many of the road users, others pleaded that people should bear with the LSPWC for the few days that they need to fix the road in the interest of all.
Speaking with one of the LSPWC workers, he told THE IMPACT that they have always ensure that there is alternative route whenever they are closing any section of the road under repair.
He stated that the challenge they are having with the section of the Ikorodu/Oba Omolaja road that they are currently working on is that there is no alternative route to divert traffic to.
He showed our reporter a damaged portion caused by motorists and okada riders before the road was closed.
Meanwhile, THE IMPACT gathered that the completion of the road was threatened at the weekend when the LSPWC workers threatened to stop working and removed their equipment as a result of an an attack on them by some hoodlums.
It was gathered that the workers were dispossessed of their valuables items while some equipment were allegedly damaged. Also, two of the attacked workers were said to be recuperating in the hospital.
We gathered that it took the intervention of the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo and the Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA authority before the LSPWC workers returned to site.
In a phone conversation with Hon. Titilola Adegboyega, the Vice Chairman, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, he stated that he had visited the road in the company of policemen when he was informed about the development and that the issue has been resolved.
He stated that the council has been supportive of the LSPWC since they had moved into Igbogbo axis for the rehabilitation work while he also denied that the attack on the LSPWC workers happened in their territory.
“We have been providing them with support since they moved into Igbogbo axis because we do not want them to experience again what they experienced while working in Ikorodu axis as the incident almost threatened the continuation of the project.
“They had to result to working in the day because we were told that one of the equipment that they are using in Imota developed fault and they had to move one of those that they are using here to Imota. That’s why they had to work in the morning to meet the deadline”, Hon. Titilola explained.
“Unfortunately, they are not aware that there is no alternative route in that axis but we had intervened and resolved the matter amicably. They are going to finish that axis today and by tomorrow when they move to Igbe axis, there will be alternative routes at both left and right of the road .
“We have also agreed with them that a lane should be open for motorists to ply while they are working on the other”.
The Vice Chairman appealed to residents to cooperate with LSPWC officials in making roads motorable in and outside the council.