60 communities located along the Itamaga – Ijede road which is currently under reconstruction by the Lagos State government, have cried out to Governor Babajide Sanwo – Olu, and the Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly and the representative of the Ikorodu Constituency I, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, for urgent intervention in the project.
In a ‘Save Our Souls’ letter by over 60 Community Development Committee (CDAs) addressed to Hon. Agunbiade, the CDAs, under the aegis of Committee on Ijede Road Rehabilitation (COIR), said that they are bringing the attention of the government to the “associated and observed problems attached to the ongoing Itamaga – Ijede road rehabilitation”.
Arab Contractors, a leading construction company, is handling the project for the Lagos State Government.
The affected residents said that the diversion on the road, due to the ongoing construction, has caused serious flooding in the area to the extent that properties are being damaged while houses are also collapsing.
In the letter, which was signed by Pastor Olalemi I.A, COIR Chairman, Comrade Bola – Balogun Bolaji, COIR Secretary, and Alhaji Lukman Shonibare, CDC Chairman, Ikorodu LG, it was stated that there are improper diversion of erosion, inadequate turning access point, non – provision of collective primary drain, inadequate speed breakers (road bumps) and inadequate covering slabs at major entries into communities.
“Painstakingly, the above five point submissions were reached after a series of stakeholders’ meetings held in order to address our following prayers”, the CDAs said.
The community developers said that the improper diversion has caused hardship, damages and collapse of houses in their communities.
“The greater part of the erosion has been channeled or diverted into some of the underlisted communities, including Irebami, Poromosan, Boge, Ladegboye, Omitoro Eleshin Imowo – Kekere community.
“This diversion has caused hardship, damages and collapse to building structures. We appeal for proper channelization of erosion into the neighbouring canals.
“ Sir, we equally appreciate your commendable effort in tackling part of the erosion problems by providing a covered drain through Aina Alashe street (opposite former BE HAPPY petroleum filling station), and discharging into the canal”, they said.
The communities also called for more turning points along the axis to make journey convenient for motorists who have to negotiate into their communities.
“That more turning access points should be incorporated as it is being done on the three kilometers (3km) Obafemi Awolowo Road (Ota – Ona), to accommodate accessibility into our various communities, in view of the over 4 km stretch from Itamaga to Gbodu junction.
Also in the letter, the community associations also pleaded that the government should create a primary drain to reduce flooding issues that have been ravaging several communities since the road construction started.
“We are crying out in dire need of collective primary drain as a result of the construction of the main drainage causing over – flooding at major access points which is denying accessibility to commuters, alongside avoidable sufferings and daily socio_ economic loss. The affected communities in this regard are Gbaga, Ladegboye, Omitoro, Eleshin and Imowo Kekere community.
In view of the accidents which the CDAs said that have led to three deaths this year alone along the reconstructed road, the CDAs are also calling for adequate speed breakers to curtail excessive speeding by motorists and bicycle drivers.
“Just this year 2021 alone, the ongoing road rehabilitation has accounted for the death of three (3) persons along Omitoro axis, including Mr. Bashiru Amusa who was killed in March 2021 by a motorcyclist, as well as Patrick Alego whose life was cut short on April 20, by an over speeding vehicle”, the CDA claimed.
“The long stretch of this road should have provisions for more adequate speed breakers at every critical point to improve safety conditions”, the CDAs suggested.
Another major demand by residents along the road is increase in the slabs allotted to each community.
“That the number of covering slabs allocated to our major communities should be increased to eight instead of four and six to accommodate two vehicles simultaneously. Among the affected communities in this regard are Irebami, Omitoro communities, just to mention but a few.
They pledged their cooperation to the agency of government responsible for the road construction and the contractor in addressing the challenges raised.
“Conclusively, the entire communities have agreed to co – operate with the concerned agencies and the contractor to address these issues.
“We repose confidence in your responsive government to expedite action on our humble requests. May God continue to strengthen you and your team”, the letter states.
Meanwhile, Hon. Agunbiade, at a parley with the concerned CDC and CDAs Chairmen, said that the Itamaga-Ijede road is one of the best roads in the state, adding that the road will be commissioned soon.
He said that he has begun work on the complaints by the CDC and CDAs regarding the road and that necessary governmental agencies will make necessary adjustments even after the commissioning.
“At times, we may think that the contractor is doing something bad but he’s only executing the design given to him and it's only when we are educated by the engineers that we can come to the realization that what they are doing is correct”, he said.
“I have made your concerns known to the government and I can assure you that those complaints are going to be considered for correction and adjustment where and when necessary.
“We are going to do a joint inspection of all these complaints and ascertain which ministry is responsible for what. For the fact that the Ministry of Works is responsible for the road construction does not mean that the same ministry will be responsible for all that you have observed.
“It may be Drainage Services or Ministry of Environment or another Ministry that will be responsible but the tour would help us to direct your complaints to the appropriate quarters.
“For instance, erosion issues are under the purview of the Ministry of the Environment and not the Ministry of Works”.
He, however, commended the community developers for bringing their concerns to the government’s attention through him, being their representative.