Following the recent barricading of the Ojota Express road at the busy bus terminal by the Lagos State government, workers, traders and students who usually dash across the dual express are facing difficult times crossing from one side of the road to the other.
Our correspondent reports that the early morning rush hour now results in heavy human traffic on the pedestrian bridge that now takes about 40 minutes to cross from one end to the other.
A thoroughly vexed tax consultant, who spoke to our correspondent in confidence, could not imagine compounding the current queuing up to buy fuel that is not even available….now queuing up to cross the pedestrian bridge! What stops the government from providing alternative route – may be a smaller bridge for people to cross with ease? He asked.
“See now,” he said, biting off each word with anger; “I hurried out this morning for an important appointment; I have budgeted time for traffic holdup as usual and the unexpected from police and traffic officers, only to come to board a bus and now…I must queue and take over 40 minutes in a human traffic just to cross to the other side of the bus terminus!
”This shows that governments never do proper planning before implementation. It has long been a norm for government to provide infrastructure that will stress an average citizen.”
On the barbed barricade blocking pedestrians from crossing the express road, he asked: “How is government sure that people will not vandalise the fence used to barricade the road? Is this not Lagos? You can bet that bad boys already have plans for them!”
He urged Government not to create room for people to destroy infrastructure. “They should provide alternative routes before implementation just as it was done in Lekki.
“Government should not receive ideas from developed world and implement it without putting the average Nigeria citizen into consideration, as one will beginning to think it is the money in the contract they are after not what the infrastructure is been prepared for.”
Our correspondent who himself used the bridge noted that crossing the bridge took an average time of 35 to 40 minutes and this could take more time especially at peak hours in the mornings and evenings.
One trader on the queue who gave his name as Emmanuel said the time it takes to cross is unreasonable. “Though the idea is good but the implementation is badly envisioned; when one is in a hurry, or have an emergency, how are we expected to cope? Let Gov Ambode and his men create more pedestrian bridges to ease this stress,” he concluded.
Mrs Mandu Udoh who didn’t mind giving her name was bitter after she took all of 45 minutes to cross over earlier in the day. “Government people should have provided at least two bridges were people could cross to the other side before barricading the road.
“They should come and see the problems they have created; is it good that people should suffer like this? And see o, even if they decided to build another bridge here, it could take another one year to finish. Is it not government?” she hissed.
Onr Funke Ajibade who was sweating after a successful crossover said the stress is horrible. “It could cause miscarriage to a pregnant woman. Then look at the elderly people. They could faint while chocked up in that crowd for such a long time.”
She appealed to authorities of Lagos state government to look into the situation urgently before it becomes a disaster.