Lagos Traffic, Lagos Roads and other matters

Adeola Aderounmu

Many Lagosians and residents of Lagos have one thing in common-that is they know that Mr. Fashola has been doing a lot to improve the traffic situation in Lagos. There is no doubt about that. I saw that myself.

There is a network of road that is now being constructed from orile that will lead to badagry. It’s going to be about 10 lanes including rail network. I say bravo to the plan.

Lagos Road

Lagos Road

One sad thing about the situation in Lagos is the bureaucratic problems imposed by the Federal Government. The useless Federal Government has been hindering progress in Lagos. Sometimes the argument is about whether the Lagos State government has the jurisdiction to execute certain projects or not.

You will never understand the madness of Nigerian politics. The useless Federal Ministry of Road and Transport or is it Ministry of Works and Housing has refused to develop or expand Lagos roads. Altogether they have refused to maintain the roads. And then a certain Fashola decided not to follow the way of the ineptitudes before him only for these Federal gangsters to come and stand in the way.

I am hoping that these bottlenecks have been addressed and removed otherwise the Jonathan government should continue to see itself as a disgrace.

The other problem that people are downplaying but which I think has affected the development of Lagos is the Tinubu factor. I have no praises for Tinubu for supporting the candidature of Fashola then and now. I don’t care about his opinions on Fashola. I don’t want people getting my opinions wrong. I have no single word of praise for any Nigerian politician.

Politicians are public servants and they must serve. It is just the Nigerian factor that has distorted people’s minds and opinions about the meaning of public services. Politicians must serve the people and ensure that the society is running smoothly. They are not there to be praised or worship. But the way things have happened in Nigeria has affected the way we look at politicians. Hence it is very easy for people to praise Fashola. They compare him to the idle minds before him.

I have no word for Tinubu except to tell him to go and sit down. Let him stop disturbing the peace and progress of Lagos. Indeed Nigerian politics is such that gives room, space and power to godfatherism, hence the grip of Tinubu on Lagos to this day. Few years from now, he will be history. All the people who think they are important yesterday, where are they today? Nigerian politicians do not learn from history.

But the greatest source of problem regarding Lagos (traffic, roads and other issues) is the people of Lagos. Majority of Lagos drivers have no clues about driving rules and regulations. They drive like idiots. It’s a racing game for them. First to reach, first to go. They don’t know the rules at junctions; they don’t know the rules on the expressway. You will hardly find a Lagos driver giving you way when you have indicated with you blinking light that you want to turn right or left or that you want to change lanes. They call it blocking.

Lagos drivers don’t know the meaning of lane driving. In some places, the government has repaired the roads, drawn lanes and all that. Where there are 3 lanes, Lagos drivers will ignore the lanes and change it to 5 or 6 lanes. Somewhere ahead they will all meet and the traffic will become jammed!

Many of the traffic situations in Lagos are not only as a result of over population but also because of extremely bad driving. If Lagos drivers use their lanes appropriately and follow driving rules, they will prevent up to 70% of the unnecessary traffic jams in Lagos. It is sad because they are ignorant and they don’t know the rules. Therefore they don’t understand why they have such traffic situations.

A journey of 20 minuets in Lagos can take 4 hours. Once I drove from Festac to Iyana Ipaja and it took 3hours and 45 minutes. In other countries that journey will take me just 20 or 25 minutes.

But it is worth mentioning that some roads are still very bad and they have also contributed to the menace of driving in Lagos. Iyana Ipaja by Abesan Housing Estate is the worst place in Lagos. One day we drove about 50metres in a time of 45 minutes!!! This is not an exaggeration. Residents say it could take one hour to just get through Abesan Gate!!!

It’s a region of about 10-15metres only. But the motorists approaching could be thousands and that causes serious problems sometimes. You only need to be trapped at that gate to understand the nature of the problem. Cars are still for minutes and hours. The road is bad and the people drive like mad people. But if they maintain like 2 lanes only for every road approaching that junction, the problem will be less even with the bad road network. But when more than 10 lanes meet at the same point, tell me, who goes first?

Abesan Gate, Iyana Ipaja

Abesan Gate, Iyana Ipaja

Abesan Gate, Iyana Ipaja

Abesan Gate, Iyana Ipaja

At berger area on Apapa Oshodi Express Way, it is simply a death trap. I won’t say more.

Berger Area Apapa Oshodi ExpressWay

Berger Area Apapa Oshodi ExpressWay

Berger Area Apapa Oshodi ExpressWay

Berger Area Apapa Oshodi ExpressWay

There are many bad roads in Lagos but the people are optimistic that given another 4 years and at his rate of achievements, the government of Fashola can achieve more and alleviate the sufferings of Lagosians.

But Nigerians must know that there is a need to provide jobs and incentives in other parts of Nigeria. The gradual decongesting of Lagos will be a needed avenue to ensure that the infrastructures are not over stretched.

21 Road Festac Town

21 Road Festac Town

With or Beyond Fashola future governments in Lagos must have long term goals to take care of the problems in Lagos in terms of roads, housing, schools and water. Obviously there are other things that must be done to ensure that Nigerians in general can live a good and happy life.

Bad Road By Daniel and Bankole's Bridge

Bad Road By Daniel and Bankole's Bridge

One day Nigerian roads will be like this one below

Malmo-Copenhagen Bridge

Malmo-Copenhagen Bridge

Nigeria May Never Get Better

By Adeola Aderounmu

The just concluded fraudulent elections in Delta State confirmed my fears and argument that Nigeria is not ready for new elections. Change is not coming soon. In a previous article posted on my blog and on NVS I have stated that there are several fundamental issues that needed to be addressed before conducting new or rerun elections in Nigeria.

Until those issues are addressed Nigerians will never know what it means to have a free and fair electoral process. It will never happen in our life time unless the fundamental issues are addressed. As far as I am concerned Nigeria and Nigerians will never have free and fair elections in 2011 and not even in 2012. We are not just ready! We can’t keep expecting positive results or outcomes for things we are ill prepared for. It will not happen.

It is so sad because it appears that the third generations of Nigerians are already wasting away. We don’t seem to realise the seriousness of the issues at stake. When it comes to governance and our perception of politics Nigeria is a nation stuck in prehistoric time. We are so backward it is almost impossible to know where we belong to in the time machine.

The rerun election in Delta state, if used as an indicator of human intelligence, showed that majority of Nigerians are disorientated. The thing is people are counting on Jega. Jega is one man and he has no control over the stupidity of the general populace. Jega is a person and not an institution. INEC as an institution lacks the foundation and the majority of the Nigerian people are completely disorientated and malformed in their mentalities. So this gives you a tragedy that is convoluted. Nigeria is a rolling dilemma.

Several institutions are programmed to fail to suit the status quo of the useless and senseless Nigerian political class. The ignorance of the people doesn’t help in any way. Check out the celebration, parties and the drums beating all night in Delta State. Some millions of dollars that should have been used to develop the state and to provide essential services were wasted in one night for parties and stupid celebrations. The next day the people return to their lives of hopelessness and extreme poverty and penury.

A few beneficiaries of the controversial mandate will return to the state treasury and continue the looting process. Every four years different types of fools and sometimes the same incumbent nonentities return to power and keep the status quo. In general the states remain underdeveloped and the country at large gets closer to disintegration.

I am not afraid of disintegration. This country has never been united. A group of tropical gangsters have kept this country together for their own selfish gains. It pains that the rest of us have not been able to fathom how to break the chain of events. A few among us went in and joined the wagon. They promised to change things but they soon get mixed up in the entire dirty game.

Hope may be lost now because it appears that the rest of us are just waiting for our own opportunities to get crunches of the national cake. Nigerian young men who are in their 20s and 30s and even early 40s who have managed to become something in politics have not had any impact on the polity. What I know and heard is that they are also looting the treasuries wherever they find themselves. They do little and steal so much.

So the problems in Nigeria today are not only due to old and bad leadership. It has infected everything and everyone. Make I no chop my own? If na you you no go chop? Abeg I go support the man o, maybe something fit drop for me? We have all kinds of slogans and national disorientation that has left this country as a complete jungle where anything and everything is possible.

Nigeria is a completely lawless society where political thieves and looters get away. They live among us and they are our brothers and sisters. They are our uncles and aunts. It is Nigerians who destroyed Nigeria. We don’t question those who get rich overnight because “he don hit”. If we do, they say “you be bad belle”.

In general people live anyhow and do anything. The government does not function as the regulator of things. The government and the people are entirely disconnected. It is what I saw and something I’ve always known.

Anyone who is expressing disappointment about the rerun election in Delta State is either a fool or an idiot. And if anyone expects that the other elections in 2011 will get better, that person needs to go for a quick medical examination. Delta State is one state, Nigeria is 36 states plus Abuja, the scale of violence and rigging will be unimaginable when the time comes. Sporadic shootings will turn to massive shootings and bombings. The signs are ripe and too obvious to disregard.

The Nigerian government has closed all schools because of voters’ registration. Every time this type of anomaly occurs, my mind races to the intelligent question. Seriously you can’t get to the bottom of the abnormal mentalities of Nigerian rulers. What has the nearly extinct public schools and the [rich-parents, privileged-children private schools] got to do with registration of voters? Have they looked at all the options and that is the best solution? But don’t forget that the children of these useless politicians are not in Nigeria. They are abroad getting the best of education that they denied you and me.

I stand firm on my argument that Nigerians do not need any elections in 2011. We have been a laughing stock among comity of nations. We are the country that doesn’t know how to count and add numbers. It’s so tragic. Nigerians can’t line up to be counted on a simple electoral queue. And we know why. It is partly because the winner takes it all, as in the loot and the money to be stolen from government.

Until the fundamental issue of census is taken care of, we are wasting our time. They say Kano residents are more than Lagos residents and one of my best friends concluded that by implication, Lagos residents are probably about 30m. Seriously you get confused in this fooling game.

Forensic and computing technologies must be up and running before any successful elections can hold in Nigeria. These are among the suggestions I made in previous essays that are available on the Nigeria Village square. (How to count Nigerians and Nigerians don’t need elections in 2011).

There are more voters in riverine delta than urban delta in Nigeria. This simple but crazy deduction by INEC would have been checked by proper census and forensic evidence. Let’s go on with our foolishness as a country and we will always return to square one. Nonsense!

Let us not also forget that proper election is one thing, accountability and seriously sending looters to jail is another thing that can be used to check the nonsense called Nigerian politics. It’s hard to find a starting or turning point since all the key players in Nigerian politics have been and remain thieves and looters. Start from the presidency and take it down, in a normal country these people will be answering for crimes against humanity because of their involvement in politics that has destroyed Nigeria and Nigerian lives.

Again, it’s always hard to discuss Nigeria and I never know where and how to cut the arguments. Nigerian children are at home because of election matters; this is what the incompetent Jonathan administration wants people to believe. But we know that Jos is boiling and in fact boiling over, -a revelation of Nigeria as a failed country and a society on the brink of collapse.

Foreign influences are now in control in Nigeria. Since we couldn’t get our acts together, we have allowed terror groups and counter groups to find niches in our territory. We ordered the mayhem and it has been given to us in dozen-folds. One day they will tell us the truth-that our children are at home, not because of electoral matters but because of the massive bomb threats across the nation.

This is where public looting, useless elections, useless anticorruption agencies, useless government, extremely bad rulership, senseless followership, corruption itself and useless national character has landed us.

What a failed country..!

Who will save our souls?