Some residents of Ikosi, in the Ketu area of Lagos, have lamented the destruction of the iron barriers on Ikorodu road by hoodlums, noting that it has a negative consequence on pedestrians and motorists.
The barriers were built by the Lagos state government in 2016, to prevent people from crossing the expressway and encourage the use of the pedestrian bridge.
However, when Newsbreak.ng visited the place, some parts of the iron barrier erected to prevent pedestrians from crossing the road had been broken down.
Our reporter observed that most people now cross the expressway through use the damaged portions of the barriers, which is a trekkable distance to the pedestrian bridge.
Respondents in the area who spoke to this medium bemoaned that the iron barriers damaged by hoodlums could cause serious catastrophe.
Adejola Samuel, a trader in the area, confirmed that a portion of the barrier was earlier damaged in an accident before hoodlums destroyed the other parts.
Adejola said she witnessed two pedestrians being knocked down by vehicles three weeks ago.
“A small portion of the barrier was first damaged by a trailer, and then hoodlums broke down every other part you see. Both old and young now dangerously cross the expressway through the damaged portions. Two women had been knocked down by speeding vehicles”, she said.
A stationery shop owner, Ezekiel Oni, said accidents now occur daily as a result of pedestrians illegally crossing the road through the damaged barriers portion.
“There is no day one vehicle would not hit another while trying to suddenly break because of people crossing the road. On a daily basis, you would see broken pieces of car lights on the ground. If this is not controlled, a truck without control could run over a lot of people one day,” he said.
Another respondent, Fatai Adekunola, wondered why would risk their life, especially as the pedestrian bridge is not far off from the affected barrier area.
He queried, “People don’t value their lives. I can’t just imagine it. What is the distance between this place and the pedestrian bridge?
“Yet people would risk their lives crossing the expressway. The other day, we had to rush a woman who was knocked down to the hospital. The driver didn’t even wait because this is an express road.”
Rasheed Ajiromo, suggested that a tragic occurrence would perhaps teach the pedestrian offenders some lesson.
“It is absurd that government provided a pedestrian bridge and people would prefer to endanger their lives by destroying the barriers to quickly cross the road as they feel. Maybe some will learn lessons the day an accident would claim lots of lives here,” he said.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an officer of the Lagos State Transport Management Agency, LASTMA, said the situation is causing a major traffic headache for them.
According to the officer, they (LASTMA) would have to stop cars in the area in order to allow pedestrians to cross, creating long vehicular traffic in the busy area.
Alabi Rahmat, Public Affairs Officer of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LAGESC, confirmed to Newsbreak.ng that agency has received disturbing reports from officers about the area.
She said though the agency had been unable to arrest the hoodlums who reportedly damaged the barriers, 15 persons are currently being prosecuted for failing to use the pedestrian bridge.
“We have continued to receive very disturbing reports from Ketu area. In May this year, we arrested 15 persons for this same offence and they are currently being prosecuted by the mobile court. We are waiting to receive the report of their sentences”, Rahmat said.
“Our officers have been assaulted many times in that area by while doing their job. It is very unfortunate. The law only allows us to arrest, we cannot carry firearm.”