Residents panic as Lagos closes roads for Tinubu’s projects commissioning

Residents and vehicles travelling between the Mainland and the Island had difficulties on Saturday and Sunday due to the shutdown of the Gbagada-Oworonshoki Motorway axis for President Bola Tinubu’s scheduled launching of certain significant Federal Government road projects in the state.

Motorists, who had been stranded for many hours since Saturday’s shutdown, criticised their situation, which they termed as “insensitive.”

Movement was paralysed as motorists and commuters were stranded in gridlock at various spots along Alapere-Iyana Oworonsoki-Gbagada-Oshodi, inward Mile-2 due to the closure for the formal commissioning of the expressway at Ggbagada.

Observation by Vanguard recorded influx of truck and tankers occupying substantial part of the carriageway, worsening the traffic situation.

Motorists who took alternative routes to avoid the traffic got stranded as most of the inner roads were blocked by motorists who were looking for escape routes out of the gridlock.

The situation led passengers to abandon their commercial buses resorting to trekking to their various destinations under the hot sun.

Motorists and commuters coming from Oshodi, inward Gbagada to Third Mainland Bridge were not spared as they got stranded in the gridlock on that side of the carriageway because the main carriageway where the commissioning of the expressway took place was blocked thereby compelling all motorists, commuters to the service lane resulting in complete standstill.

According to one of the motorists, Mr. Victor Agbor, “I spent nothing less than four hours trying to navigate my way out pf the gridlock as we were directed into inner streets by LASTMA.
“There was no prior notice and if there was it was poor as most of us (motorists) got wind of the planned closure on getting to the spot. This is absolutely insensitive.”

Also, Mr Kunle Adeolu, a residents on the Island, narrated how he got stranded driving to ainland.
Adeolu lamented: “So because of Mr President commissioning projects, the whole Lagos State must be on shut down. Do you know what residents have lost in terms of economic value to this chaotic situation. Its totally, unfair.”

Lagos travel advisory

However, the Lagos State Government had earlier announced diversion of traffic along Gbagada-Oworonshoki Expressway, from Alapere-Ogudu-Car Wash and Iyana Oworo inward Anthony/Oshodi from 6:00am Saturday, May 25, till Sunday evening, May 26, 2024 due to exigent situation.

Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Oluwaseun Osiyemi announced the planned closure.
Osiyemi, urged motorists to ply alternative routes from point of blockage;
“Motorists will be denied access from Ram Seller area beside Gbagada General Hospital and will be diverted into Diya Street through New Garage by Jolad Hospital to access Gbagada Phase 2 via Pedro Road, to link Ikorodu Road for their desired destinations.

“Also, motorists from old Toll Gate/Ketu should make use of Ikorodu Road to connect Anthony, while others coming from Lagos Island via Third Mainland Bridge will be diverted to Adekunle and Herbert Macaulay to access Anthony/Oshodi through Jibowu on Ikorodu road,” Osiyemi stated.

He urged motorists to be patient and cooperate with the traffic management personnel to ease their movements.

When contacted on the traffic situation, General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Emergency Management Authority, LASTMA, Olalekan Bakare-Oki, told Vanguard that officers were massively deployed to the axis to ensure seamless traffic movement by directing motorists to alternative routes.

He also noted that the police and other security personnel worked collaboratively with the agency to manage the situation even as it apologised for the inconveniences experienced by motorists.

“The state government has carried out improvement work on alternative routes mapped out for diversions,” Bakare-Oki said.

Efforts to reach the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent of Police, SP, Benjamin Hudenyin, for comment were unsuccessful, as a text message sent to him had not received a response at the time of writing this report.

Multi-modal transportation system: Sanwo-Olu set to unveil new Lagos transport policy

Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is set to unveil the Transport Policy for further developmental goals, key objectives and strategic initiatives in traffic management and transportation for the people of the state.

Osiyemi, announcing the completion of the policy document, explained that Lagos as the commercial hub of the Nation and a driving force in national development was long overdue for a comprehensive transport policy that would further facilitate economic growth, enhance quality of life, and improve overall transportation accessibility.

“The unveiling ceremony which will have in attendance stakeholders’ in the transportation sector, policy advocates and industry experts, will also afford the opportunity to share insights into the policy and expected outcomes towards a more efficient and sustainable transport infrastructure for the residents of the state, ” Osiyemi stated.

He however, assured that “The Transport Policy is flexible and dynamic to accommodate the integrated multi-modal transport system of the state that is safe, adequate, reliable, comfortable, efficient and affordable within the framework of a progressive and competitive market economy.”

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