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Oshodi: The Dark Days Are Back Again?

Oshodi: The dark days are back again?

By Albert Akpor

Monday, June 15, 2009

FOR long Oshodi, a sprawling market and major bus-stop, revelled in its notoriety as an urban commercial jungle where confusion reigned supreme; a no-man’s land where bedlam was the order of the day courtesy of traders and commercial vehicle operators who turned the place into a war zone of survival.

Then last year the Lagos State government led by Governor Babatunde Fashola decided that enough was enough and sent in the bulldozers accompanied by uniformed security personnel to put an end to that reign of chaos and restore order and sanity.

And by the time they were through, all the illegal structures, especially those obstructing the flow of traffic, had been pulled down and all undesirable elements were sent packing.

This was loudly hailed in several quarters, especially as the once dreaded Oshodi began to wear a new, decent look with traffic now flowing freely through the place unlike what obtained in the past when it used to be a traffic nightmare for motorists and other road users.

But it seems the joy attending this welcome development is about to be short-lived. Reason? The elements that once made Oshodi a notorious centre of commerce are gradually finding their way back to the place and appear determined to continue where they stopped the last time before their overthrow.

For instance, some road side traders are back and are already erecting illegal structures. On their heels are the notorious social miscreants otherwise called Area boys.

Motorists, both private and commercial and of course pedestrians who use the Agege Motor road en route the popular Oshodi market, as well as the Oshodi bridge (Oshodi Oke) now have one bitter tale or the other to tell of the re-emergence of what they refer to as “dark days”.

Presently, it is easy for the camel to pass through the needle’s eye than for motorists and pedestrians alike to drive and walk through the Oshodi market as the public transport vehicles called Molues have successfully taken over a substantial part of the Bolade axis of the Agege Motor road of the market, thereby making it increasingly difficult to drive through.

Apart from this, make-shift large umbrellas, a recent means adopted by some itinerant traders have completely replaced the illegal roadside structures.

Worse still, club-wielding Area Boys have taken over the Oshodi bridge and commuter bus operators, including of course, passengers are harassed with reckless abandoned even in the presence of law enforcement officers which include the Police and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority(LASTMA) officials.

Reacting to this situation, Mr. Uzo Okudili, a driver with one of the second generation banks with its headquarters on the Lagos Island but lives somewhere in Iyana-Ipaja had this to say: “You won’t believe that I was the happiest man when about two months ago, I drove through this road; it was as if I was in Ghana or South Africa. I couldn’t believe that one could drive through Oshodi in just seconds.

Normally I drive through the Mobolaji Bank Anthony way to my work place but with the clearance of all the illegal structures and those traders who had virtually blocked the road, I said bye- bye to Bank Anthony way.

But as you can see for yourself now, the story has changed. We have been stuck here for about one hour now just to connect the express road without success. The police, LASTMA and even the traffic officers are all at the Bolade junction and we do not know what is wrong”.

Another aggrieved respondent who simply identified himself as Kasali, one of the traders at the market whose stall was demolished angrily remarked in pidgin English language: “The government and even you Journalist wrote that we traders in Oshodi are the problems of Oshodi market, you write for papers and government come demolish our shop so that we should go and thief before we feed our families and we couldn’t do anything. Now that the go-slow has resurfaced, are we still the cause?”

Continuing, Kasali pointed out thus: “Can’t you see that Molue has taken over the whole second lane and you people wey get motor dey manage one lane? Move forward before you get to the bridge, you will see Lagos State environmental officials there. What people don’t know is that they allowed the molues to block the road because the drivers have settled them”.

However, to Mr. Uzo sOkwudili, a Lagos based legal practitioner, what bothers him is not so much the re-emergence of all the relics that gave Oshodi a bad name in the past.

Rather it is the fact that the state government has not been able to completely stamp out the 911 truck called Molue as a means of transportation in Lagos metropolis. According to him the fact that Molues are still used as means of public transport system in Lagos is not only a shame but a dent on the developmental efforts of the state goverment.

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21 answers

@Fehmmmy, The law enforcement should do their job.

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fashola cant be every where, it is the state government law enforcement agency to sustain and ensure that the roads are motorable.they are paid to carryout their duties.those agencies should be held responsible for the relapse.

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they are not fools, they just follow the "7 point i danger".

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and there wont be traffic in the sky.

What a fool we have as leaders.

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This all boils down to the fact that even as structures are being built/repaired, the majority still remain below the poverty line and will do whatever they have to, to get by. The State governors can paint all the molues white, build gold paved roads, put up 100 SkyScrapers with flashy lights all over the place, but as long as the people continue to feel they are not getting helped or they are being overlooked, Lagos is likely to continue to struggle for a while longer and that is to be expected. This is not unique to Oshodi. In many other areas of the same state, and the nation as a whole, similar trend is observed.  You can whip the people all you want, but change only comes when the people understand that it is in their interest. Ask IdiaghoN!

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Any suggested solution?

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Hey,

My office is very close to Oshodi, i drove through the traffic for the past four months now and am not finding it easy. I understand that some repairs are going on under the oshodi Bridge. The repair does not affect the traffic at that point, but what really affects the traffic is lawlessness and impatient on the part of the cummutters.

The LASTMA are also a contributing factors instead of controlling the traffic they are busy chasing people that will give them money. Also, those hawkers that sell things on the road , deliberate causes traffic. because, if there is free flow of traffic, they can't sell.

The government and law efforcement agencies need to brace up with a tactics to combact the traffic.

Its easy driving home everyday. it takes me 1hr 30mins to get to Ikeja along everyday. infacts, i don't enjoy it,

thanks

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typical nigerian answer,always passing the bulk.the governor having put things aright is left for lagosians as a whole to maintain such

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No the dark days arent really back to oshodi.  lts true that molues park at one of the lanes, but they are neatly parked, not the usual indiscrimate way before now.  And for sure the traders are not back to the road.

The problem from oshodi to ikeja along, is as a result of the repair work going on at Agege road, l believe the pains we the road users face  will be over as soon as that repair is completed.  lt really killing going home  these days!!!

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And soon people will say the govt isnt doing enuf, i think the Fashola guy did much to make such flow of traffic, however, i will like to know if the govt built this people a place to sell and all that, if they did, how come they are not staying there, else, maybe they shd look into that.

These area boyz, i think it is time they actually arrest most of them and lock them away for a while, while they are sued while in jail to clean the oshodi road, cos i think their nuisance is a total shame to Lagos state.

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Yes i have! am left wondering, . even less dan 1 week

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A very lousy and indolent FG

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@disguy, Its not as easy as that o!If you use your money repair fed road,you dey on your own o!The PH-bonny highway,amaechi don swear say im no go do unless fed govt sign undertaking to refund am, The truth is we have a lousy fed govt.

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It will still come back to the state government, why cant they repair the road and claim the expense back from the FG

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did anybody notice that the street lights running from oshodi to ikeja have gone off only after about a week?

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Honerico

Most bad roads in Lagos belongs to the FG

And as Ferma has refused to work, we are left to suffer.

Everyone is focusing on Abuja. . . . .Check the Oshodi -Apapa Expressway, Abeokuta Road, Lagos Badagry Express.

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I knew it wont last long cos the personnels who are been paid to sanitise that area will someday compromise the duties in the form of collecting kick-back from the miscreants and drivers.

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Nigerians are so sturbborn - soon they will say army dey shoot them.

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lol, Why am i not surprised?No be lagos again?Wait till fash leaves office, then we go know say nigerians no be human beings,

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see wahala ooo why people no like good thing God punish bad people God punish them

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