Background: In the past few years, Lagosians have been groaning under the weight of infrastructural decay all over the state which is evidenced in many of the state roads, schools and hospitals.
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), has in the past 4 years visited and expressed dismay over the present state of Lagos State. The State has become a night mare to its dwellers due to the decrepit state of its structures and infrastructures which are basically inadequate and non-functional. The roads are badly riddled with craters and gorges making them sources of personal danger and economic waste to users; the schools lack functional infrastructures while most are in various states of dilapidation exposing pupils, their teachers and other school workers to dangers and untold hardship in the course of performing their duties.
The conditions of various government hospitals are so bad to the extent that many accident victims and patients of other emergency illnesses do not have beds to sleep, with many of the hospitals lacking in other relevant equipment.
In cases where there are equipment, they are seldomly used because the equipment are either substandard or don’t have expertise to operate, not to talk of maintain them.
For residents of Alimosho and so many other underdeveloped areas in the state, the need to link communities has been a major drive which has resulted in the construction of wooden bridges otherwise known as ‘Pako bridges’ in various parts of the state.
The Alimosho Pako bridges, as an example, provide the needed escape and a short route for motorists who intend to avoid the burden of traffic snarl at the popular Ayobo-Igando axis. These wooden bridges built by communities also go to show the failure of government in the provision of essential infrastructure for the people. For so many years the owner of this Pako bridges have been extorting poor citizens with it.
Each passage on this motorable and pedestrian wooden bridges cost as much as N200 per vehicle and N30 per person. It is high time the Lagos state government intervened in this situation by building a proper bridge for the citizens living in the area for free as dividend of democracy.
On Wednesday 9th of December, 2015, which marks the International Anti-Corruption Day, The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), set aside the day to embark on an Anti-Corruption Tour to monitor some Federal and Lagos state budgetary deficits typified by notable infrastructure decay in Lagos State with a view to calling the attention of responsible authorities to it.
The tour started at exactly 10.10am from the Old Toll-Gate at Sango-Otta on Abeokuta Expressway. In attendance were members and affiliates of CACOL, Press men and other well wishers. Solidarity songs were sung and placards of different write ups regarding the areas of urgency in the economy were displayed.
The tour was led by the Executive Chairman of Coalition, Comrade Debo Adeniran. He made a brief presentation stating that the tour to the Toll-Gate on the Abeokuta Expressway is to call the attention of the government both at federal and state level to devise a lasting solution to the preventable carnage occurring at that spot.
According to the 2015 statistical data of accident cases requested and received from the Federal Road Safety Commission, Sango-Otta Unit, a total number of forty (40) road accident cases occurred on the route between January and November.
A total number of 354 people were involved, 116 people got injured while 26 people lost their lives. In the month of November alone, 26 lives were lost, many injured, and properties were destroyed. In his interview with the press crew present, Comrade Debo Adeniran stressed that a flyover on the road, would have prevented the perennial loss of lives and properties.
The tour moved from Toll-gate at 11.17am to Meiran Road under Alimosho Local Government to examine the state of decaying infrastructures, uncompleted roads and the state of public schools in the area.
Comrade Debo Adeniran talked about a portion of the road, which is in a dilapidated form stating that the road, which is less than 2 kilometers has been under perpetual construction for 5 years now with the project yet to be completed with some parts of the road earlier tarred giving off.
However, mere looking at the road from the Meiran Express Junction one would think the road is in a good condition as few meters away from the Express looks good but a further ride down the road to Ajasa Command shows the deceitfulness of the Lagos State government.
CACOL tour also moved to a government-owned primary school, at Ile-Iwe Bus-Stop. The school lacked functional infrastructures; there was no efficient drainage system, the roofs were bad and leaky, the classrooms were jam-packed with students, the windows were so bad with erosion sweeping away the grounThe school environment was very dirty and unkempt to the extent that pupils were defecating all around the school premises because the provided toilet facility was non-functional, thereby exposing the health of the pupils to diseases.
We also gave importance to the road to command, opposite the Meiran Police Station. The road is so badly - riddled with craters and gorges making them sources of personal danger. Pot-holes have taken over the road causing heavy traffic at peak hours. There is also no efficient drainage system, and a part of the road has been eaten up by erosion to the extent that if any motorist treads the road at night without being familiar with it, he/she is liable to drive inside the gully.
More so, we had a ride to the pedestrian and motorable plank bridge also known as Pako Bridge which was built by the locals. This is the bridge that links a community at Ayobo and Igando both in Lagos State. For residents of Alimosho, the need to link communities necessitated the construction of wooden bridges otherwise known as ‘Pako bridges’.
The bridges were seen to be in a very bad and risky state. It was dangerous to walk upon because the planks were shaking, ready to collapse. There were bushes around the bridge and dirt pilings that breed mosquitoes which causes malaria and harmful to human health.
The tour was moved to Ayobo bustop where the link roads neglected by the government were seen. Comrade Debo Adeniran while granting interview to the media men present, urged the government at various levels to give adequate attention to all the visited places and all other begging areas.
He also urged the federal and state government not to spend huge amount of money on white elephant projects that do not benefit the masses. He laid emphasis on hospitals stating that maternity women and children have to sleep on the floor or benches, while in some they defecate in an open area because there are no amenities.
He therefore appealed to government at all levels to urgently address and fix the issues of infrastructural deficiency and social amenities. This he said the group believes would alleviate the hardship, pain and loss that majority of the people of Lagos, and Nigerians as a whole experience on a daily basis.
The tour ended at the CACOL Headquarters at 3.55pm.