…Decry Poor State of Road as National Shame Protesters under the aegis of ‘Women Arise For Change Initiative’ and members of the Campaign for Democracy (CD), a civil society organisation, on Monday, besieged the major roads in Badagry to protest the total neglect of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway by both the Federal and State Governments.
…Decry Poor State of Road as National Shame
Protesters under the aegis of ‘Women Arise For Change Initiative’ and members of the Campaign for Democracy (CD), a civil society organisation, on Monday, besieged the major roads in Badagry to protest the total neglect of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway by both the Federal and State Governments.
They maintain that many people are dying daily on the road while tourism has virtually collapsed as the rehabilitation of the expressway which began under the government of former Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has so far gulped N460 billion without much to show for the huge expenditure. The present slow pace of work is attributed to the not too chummy relationship between Fashola and his successor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.
The two groups were joined by the residents of Badagry and motorists who regularly commute on the international gateway connecting Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal
The protest match which started from Badagry roundabout at about 8am on Monday, saw the protesters filing out peacefully on the highway to Igbo-Elerin, halting movement of traffic for two hours.
They bore placards with various inscriptions, such as “FIX BADAGRY EXPRESS ROAD”, “Enough Is Enough”, “We Are Also Tax Payers”, “No Retreat, No Surrender”, “We Give You 100 Days”
Addressing the protesters, President, Women Arise For Change, Dr Joe Odunmakin said the protest was to draw attention of President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State Governor-elect, to the plights of residents, motorists and other road users, over the neglect and abandonment of the road.
Odumakin said the road had become a death trap and a huge hindrance to business and economic growth in Badagry and its environs.
She said, “As we speak, we will find out that Badagry has been a gateway of pain and anguish. A lot of people are dying on the road, tourism has almost collapsed, this is a place that over 460 billion naira has been spent to rehabilitate the roads”.
“There’s a nexus between infrastructures in terms of roads and the economy, and the economy, here is almost coming to stagnation, and this is why our support for this protest is a just cause.”
She urged the government to rise up to the occasion by fixing the road because it is a critical artery linking Nigeria to other West African countries, saying that the road is not just an eyesore but a national shame.
“Government must rise up and within 100 days, and ensure that something urgently is done. Again, state of emergency has to be beamed on this road, and finally I think that we must understand that if roads are not fixed, then almost everything will collapse.”
“This is a West African road, and this has become a national shame,” she concluded.
Also decrying the pitiable condition of the road, some residents and students whose institutions are located along this axis, said the dilapidated state of the road had claimed many lives, caused miscarriages, made lots of people to lose their jobs, result in many students failing their exams, and have generally inflicted untoward pain on commuters.
The distraught residents said the time-taken to cover the distance from Mile 2- Badagry was equivalent to the time-taken to cover the distance from Enugu to Lagos.
The Lagos Badagry Expressway which initially was a single carriageway was later reconstructed and dualised by the first Military Governor, Brigadier General Mobolaji Johnson.