Residents of Ishawo in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State have said former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s failure to fulfill his promise to them has made their lives miserable.
Some of them who spoke to Newsbreak said Ambode had promised to complete the dualisation of the Agric-Ishawo road by April but his inability to do so had caused them untold hardship.
Ambode had said it became necessary to embark on the project to make the area accessible to investors. He also said the project would dislodge militants who had made the area their hideout.
“From Owutu Junction to the boundary of Lagos State in Ishawo is 7.5km and we will finish this project between March and April next year,” he had said to the delight of the residents.
However, the project was abandoned before the end of 2018, after it became he would not be handed a second term ticket under the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Kolawole Karim, a landlord in the area, said Hitech Construction Company, the firm handling the project, had removed their machines from site following the development. He lamented the hardships faced by residents due to rainfall.
“We are really really suffering in this place,” he said.
“That time, Ambode said he wanted to link the road to Matori and Arepo. They destroyed the road, they didn’t think that rain will come and how would people cope.
“Immediately Ambode failed to win the ticket at the state primary election, the next thing we saw was that the company came with big trailers and they started moving their machines away,” he said.
Bola Akintelu, an Octogenarian and landlady, who lives along Asolo/Ishawo road, berated the government for making life worse for the people, after raising their hopes.
“Some of those people whose properties were demolished are still feeling the pain today
“At the end of the day, the road has now become a source of sorrow to all of us. Many families have moved out of this area because water flooded homes,” she stated.
Charles Nwoye, another resident of the area, said he is contemplating relocating, adding that he had been forced to abandon his car for months. He said the road got worse after the project started.
“It was motorable before, but Ambode came last year, they wanted to fix it but later abandoned it for people to suffer. Why didn’t they leave it as it was before? I moved in here from Surulere and I have been considering returning back. It is becoming unbearable for me,” he complained.
Grace Malomo, who uses public transportation in the area, said people don’t go out except they have something very important to attend to.
“From Agric to Ishawo before they claimed they wanted to increase the size of the road was N50. But now, once it rains, they charge as much as N500. If the rain persists and transporters see that a lot of people are stranded, they charge as high as N700,” she said.
“The people I feel for most are salary earners because they have to go and return every day. When people lie to us, I think we should tell ourselves the truth. Government don’t want people to have better lives.”
Corroborating her claim, Adeyege Segun said he had paid N1,000 from Agric Junction to Owutu, a trip that used to cost between N250 and N300, on a day it rained heavily.
Rasheed Deinde, a transporter, explained that fares were inflated due to the high cost of maintaining their vehicles.
“We have to increase cost of transportation because we spend a lot to keep the buses on the road. I am waiting for a mechanic now because I don’t know what could have happened to my bus.
“Water must have entered somewhere in the engine. That is how we do every week. Most private car owners here cannot risk what we do every day because they know the cost implication, “he stated.
“It is the worse time to do business. People who supply us goods don’t come here anymore because of the state of the road,” said Monsurat Akingbola, who sells plastic products.
Alphonsus John, who sells motorcycle spare parts, blamed government for always prioritising politics above the welfare of the electorates.
“Why would someone say because he didn’t get second term ticket, then people who struggle daily and pay their taxes should die for all he cares,” he stated angrily.
“Look at what we go through on a daily basis. Look at the front of my shop, who would want to come and buy from me. How would they get here?
“But it is never fair to anyone to have done this because he didn’t get ticket for second term,” he concluded.
Efforts to reach Olajumoke Ganiat, Chairman of Ikorodu West Local Government, on efforts to ameliorate the sufferings of the people, proved abortive. Calls to her phone lines were ignored as well as text messages.