After personally witnessing the terrible traffic caused by the Iyana Oworo Bus Stop and the long hours commuters spent on a daily basis, Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode recently constructed a segregated bus park to decongest the persistent traffic on the Third Mainland Bridge. Adedayo Adejobi writes
On June 18, 2015, when Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode alongside officials of the State Government especially from the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure embarked on a tour of some major traffic points in the metropolis, the intention was clear.
Prior to the tour, there had been series of complaints from residents on the increasing traffic gridlock that had enveloped major parts of the state since he assumed office on May 29, 2015.
To make matters worse, the constant traffic was giving rise to the activities of petty robbers and hoodlums who took advantage of the opportunity to rob unsuspecting motorists of their possessions in traffic.
For most Lagosians, it was a situation that required urgent attention. Governor Ambode did not hesitate to respond swiftly.
First, he directed the State Ministry of Transportation to identify problematic traffic points in the metropolis of which the ministry immediately embarked upon and briefed the Governor on their findings.
Consequently, the June 18 visit saw the Governor inspect Ojodu Berger Bus Stop, Iyana Oworo Bus Stop, Ketu, Abule Egba, Alimosho and Mile 12 areas.
In each of the locations, the Governor descended from his vehicle and with his team, they conducted an on the spot assessment of the circumstances that usually contribute to the traffic snarl.
At the Iyana Oworo bus stop, the Governor’s passion to address the situation was obvious.
Traffic Jam seemed to have found a new home inward and outward of Iyana Oworo, subjecting residents living on the Mainland and working on the Island untold hardship and hours of traffic on a daily basis.
On an average, Lagosians returning from the Island have to contend with traffic from the UNILAG waterfront down to Iyana Oworo Bus Stop owing to the activities of commercial buses dropping and picking passengers at the bus stop without taking into cognisance the situation their activities were posing to residents.
But with his sleeves rolled and from a vantage point on the Pedestrian Bridge by the bus-stop Ambode analysed the situation from his personal experience as well as from feedbacks by Lagosians and gave room for members of his team to make their own informed contributions to the discussion.
For him, the decision to embark on a personal inspection of the situation was to have a feel of what Lagosians were going through and how they intended to solve it.
“I have here with me, heads of agencies that are really concerned about the traffic situation. I like them to speak to you directly and let you know that we are together as a team, we’re going to start seeing solutions to the traffic challenges that we experience in Lagos.
“It’s not enough for us stay to in the office and believe that we can create solutions to the traffic challenge that we have in the state. So, we decided that we are going to go round ourselves and see how we can improve on the traffic situation in Lagos. What we have done in the last three hours is to show that we are greatly concerned about the traffic gridlock that we have been experiencing in the last few months.”
Matching words with action, not too long after the inspection, work commenced at the Bus Stop.
As an answer to the persistent traffic, the State Government constructed segregated bus park to ease the flow of traffic at inward and outward of Iyana Oworo Bus Stop.
With the construction work nearing completion, the solution seemed to have worked the needed magic.
Residents and motorists alike have heaped accolades on the Governor for finally solving an age-long headache on the axis.
A regular commuter on the axis, Mr. Tony Okeh said the construction of the segregated bus park was a big relief to him and others who ply the route on a daily basis.
Okeh, who works on the Island with a multi-national corporation, said words could really not recount the agonising ordeals which the construction had removed from his daily routine.
He said: “I just want to appreciate the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for a job well done. Though the principal duty of government is to make life more comfortable for the citizens but when a government is really working towards that, they deserved to be commended just as we condemn those that are not performing. But of a truth, this administration in Lagos under the leadership of Governor Ambode is performing and I say kudos to them.
“Before now, we normally experience serious traffic on Third Mainland Bridge especially while descending the bridge due to the activities of commercial buses who pick and drop off passengers at Iyana Oworo and this was because of absence of a segregated bus park like that newly constructed one. Since it has been constructed and opened for use, the traffic has suddenly disappeared and this is as a result of creative way of solving problems,” Okey said.
Another daily commuter on the axis, Kunle Joseph, a journalist who covers the Federal High Court in Lagos, said the bus park really proved the fact that the Governor was thinking outside the box to proffer unique solutions to the issues confronting the people of the state.
“I was amazed to see the very beautiful bus park. Even from my interaction with commercial bus operators, I realised that they were happy with the befitting structure erected for their use by the State Government.
“All I like to add is that the Governor should not relent in his bid to massively transform the state. He has said that he want to continue in the tradition of excellence which the Lagos State has always been known for and he has also said that the progress of the state is paramount to him, and so in that spirit, I like to encourage Governor Ambode to continue his good works,” Joseph said.
A commercial bus operator otherwise known as Danfo driver, Mr. Segun Abass thanked the government for the project, but urged that work should be expedited on the other side.
“Though they are working very fast on the project, I like to encourage them to continue,” he said.
Iyana Oworo is not the only bus stop feeling the impact of Ambode’s strategic thinking. Other areas including Ajah, Abule Agba and Oshodi have also received attention expected to bring long lasting solution to traffic snarl across the metropolis.