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Downpour brings flood, gridlock to Lagos roads

04 October 2013, 15:38

Lagos - A heavy early morning rain in most parts of Lagos on Friday resulted in gridlock on many roads, with commuters and motorists groaning due to difficulty in movement.

Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that the rainfall began around 5.00 a.m. and lasted past 1: 00 p.m.

Most residents and commuters resorted to trekking as many commercial vehicles could not ply their routes as a result, while those on the road were trapped in traffic jams.

Many of them were also drenched and stranded at various bus-stops as most of the commercial vehicles available were already filled with commuters.

Ikorodu town was held in the tight grip of a long, endless queue of vehicles, with the ongoing road expansion work in the area compounding the already chaotic traffic situation.

The Ikorodu Road to Funsho Williams avenue, down to the Eric Moore flyover and Ijora to Apapa were blocked.

NAN reports that the situation was not different from Egbeda to Iyana Dopemu, Ayobo- Ipaja to Iyana-Ipaja, down to the Dopemu flyover, all through Oshodi and Mushin , as well as Mosalashi to Yaba.

Also, Igando to Ikotun, down to Ilepo, was blocked as the construction work at Ilepo contributed to the gridlock on the Iyana-Ejigbo to Isolo route.

Maza Maza to Mile 2 was heavily congested with traffic, due to the flood under the Mile 2 bridge, while Orile-Iganmu to Eric Moore road was equally in a terrible situation.

The situation was so bad along Orile - Iganmu to Costain that many vehicle owners were driving against the traffic.

The traffic jam made drivers going to Lagos Island through the Eko Bridge to take a diversion to  the National Theatre area, to beat the traffic jam.

A civil servant, Hosea Adebayo, who was held up in traffic at the Ikorodu town was full of lamentations.

"The ongoing construction has been having a negative effect on road users here, but the downpour this morning makes it more terrible.

"I do not regret bringing my car out this morning, but it is not easy to wade through the flood, "Adebayo said.

He urged the government to increase the pace of the construction work, to make for free flow of traffic in the area.

Another civil servant, Deborah Akano, who was going from Ayobo-Ipaja to Iganmu, said the rainfall had cost her much in terms of time wasted time and money spent on transport.

"From my area down here, I have experienced hell transporting myself to work, it cost me much effort and money jumping from one bus to another.

"I will like to plead with the government to expedite work on Ayobo road and intensify effort at controlling the flood in Mushin," Akano said.

A commuter, Tunde going from Iyana-Ipaja to Costain, said that the downpour caused a lot of delay for him as well.

"I was delayed today, I planned to get to the office on time, to wrap up some unfinished work, but the terrible traffic hindered me.

"After we came out of Iyana-Ipaja traffic to Oshodi, we headed towards Ikorodu road wanting to escape usual Mushin traffic but the Ikorodu road situation was also terrible,’’ he said.

Aisha Saka, a trader going towards Lagos Island from Costain said she was stranded in the rain for hours because most of the commercial buses had been trapped in the traffic jam.

Saka, who said that she could not rush to board vehicles like other commuters, said that she would wait until the rush hours were over.

"Many of the buses are held up in traffic while available ones are filled up; we are stranded at the bus-stop.

"I have been here for about an hour, waiting for bus, others are competing for the available ones but I will wait until I get one to board,’’ she said.

A commercial bus driver, Seun Bamidele, said drivers had wasted a lot of time and fuel in the gridlock.

Bamidele said that the downpour would affect the daily financial returns of the commercial drivers.

"Anytime it rains, it affects us too as our usual number of trips is reduced. This also tells on our profit,’’ he said.

A civil servant, Nkechi Chukwu, going from Igando to Apapa, noted that her journey from Oshodi to Iganmu was not easy due to the effect of the rainfall on traffic.

"It is not funny at all, this morning’s traffic was highly embarrassing; the traffic was light when I set out at about 6. 30 a.m. but when the rain started, it made the whole journey tedious,’’  Chukwu said.

-  NAN


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