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Tormented by bad roads, Magodo GRA residents decry neglect

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many minds, any Government Residential Area typifies affluence, class, and an upscale neighbourhood not lacking in amenities. But for many residents of Magodo Phase 1, in Lagos State, all is not well behind the gap of glamour.

Located between Olowo-Ira and Shangisha, Magodo which means ‘Don’t use mortar or pestle’ in Yoruba Language, consists of gated communities populated by urbane and upwardly mobile citizens.

The highbrow axis, well known for its well-structured beautiful buildings, manicured lawns, and schools, is in the Kosofe Local Government Area and bounded by Ikosi-Ketu and Ojodu Berger.

Magodo GRA Phase 1 is situated in Isheri and it has two major access roads linking it to Olowo-Ira; Bankole Street and Adesina/Ayodele Fanoiki Street.

However, many residents of the GRA have described the access roads as every driver’s nightmare.

The damaged pavements and crater-like potholes dotting every section of the roads pose a challenge to the safety of passersby and motorists, and also constitute a regular source of damage to cars plying them.

Unfortunately, years of lamentation and letters of appeals from residents to the state government to repair the access roads have been met with eerie silence and inaction.

When our correspondent visited the area on Tuesday, he observed that cars and tricycles swerved from one side of the dusty asphalt roads to the other while dodging the potholes.

During the about 10-minute ride into the area, passengers were seen bouncing in their seats and shoved from left to right due to the terrible nature of the road and this made some of them nauseated.

The commercial tricyclists, on their part, carefully navigated their way to avoid driving into the endless craters road.

Our correspondent observed that students of various schools in the area repeatedly looked over their shoulders to avoid being knocked down by oncoming cars or tricycles while swiftly crossing and avoiding the bad portions.

In one of the stalls close to a major pothole, a food seller, Mrs Bukola Raimi, blamed the sorry state of the link roads on lack of maintenance.

“The road was not as bad as this when it was tarred years ago, but it was not well maintained which is why it is now becoming a challenge. You can’t even believe that this is a road leading to a GRA. With the way the cars move here, you have to look very well,” she said.

Also speaking with , a resident of Harmony Estate, close to the GRA, Lekan Famoriyo, lamented, “The road leading here up to the Unilag estate entrance is bad. It’s an eyesore. If you come here when it has rained or at night, you will understand my point better. This is supposed to be an elite community, why has the government abandoned its responsibilities?”

Speaking with , the chairman of the Magodo Government Residential Scheme Phase 1, Otunba Atoyebi Oyeleke, lamented the plights faced by residents due to the poor state of the access roads.

According to him, there are no better words to use than to say that the government has rejected the area.

“If you are coming from the Olowo-Ira area, two entrances lead to Magodo GRA, but these roads are impassable. If you pass through these roads down to the Unilag estate, your shock absorbers will be damaged. Most people here have been going to automobile mechanics because of the deplorable state of our roads.

“This area is a Government Rejected Area. Even when palliatives are being shared, as they are coming from Isheri, they stop and turn back at the Magodo GRA gate. Most of the constructions that have been done here have been solely by us. This area needs the attention of the Lagos State government.

“We have written to the Lagos New Towns Development Authority, but nothing has been done. We have spoken to the chairman of Ikosi LCDA, but she gave excuses. I have spoken to the lawmaker representing Kosofe Constituency 2, Femi Saheed, we’ve also written letters but nothing has been done. They’ve just been posting us.

“We even wrote to direct labour and pleaded that we are ready to partner and they didn’t respond. Yet we have government workers living within the estate, I don’t know why they are giving us a deaf ear,” he lamented.

Some of the letters signed by the estate chairman and general secretary and sent to the Lagos State Public Works Corporation were made available to our correspondent.

Titled ‘Request for Resurfacing of Deplorable Access Roads into Magodo Phase 1 GRA, Magodo Isheri’, and dated July 17, 2023, one of the letters read, “The two main access roads into our estate namely: Bankole Street and Adesina Street/Ayodele Fanoiki street up to Unilag estate gate entrance, are presently in a deplorable state.

“We seek your urgent intervention in resurfacing the roads which fall within your purview. We are ready to collaborate with you in the speedy implementation of this project as it is causing hardship to our residents.

“Kindly confirm to us when our executives can meet with you with a view to a speedy rehabilitation of these important access roads into our community and define the roles we are to play. We await your prompt response.”

A stamp of the LSPWC and a signature on the letter indicated that it was seen and received on July 28, 2023.

The board of the LSPWC was formed in 1980 through the enactment of a law.

The board handles the construction of roads, public buildings, and other public works with emphasis on the use of direct labour.

The old governor’s office in Alausa and the Onikan Stadium, among others, are part of the several public buildings handled by the board along with the construction of several roads within and around the Lagos metropolis.

In September, during a tour of some of the sites of ongoing road maintenance work at various locations in the state, the General Manager of the corporation, Lateef Somide, said the rainfall pattern during the year significantly hindered their road maintenance efforts.

“The corporation has been significantly handicapped by the rainfall pattern being experienced in Lagos this year 2023. Road maintenance and rehabilitation operations can only be carried out efficiently under clement weather,” he said.

Somide further stated that while the torrential downpour in the state was a consequence of climate change, it has resulted in an upsurge in the emergence of pot-holes on many roads, especially those that are due for total reconstruction.

“What we have noticed in the past couple of months is that while waiting for the ground to dry after a particular rainfall to address damaged sections of the road, another downpour occurs within a space of two to three days.

“Despite that, we carefully use weather forecasts in planning our operation. There are many instances where rain falls as soon as our men left sites of a road repair, thus compromising the integrity of the work done,” he added.

Somide said despite the weather conditions, his men recently carried out maintenance work on sections of some roads that include Isheri-Olowora, Egbeda-Idimu, Ikotun-Igando, and Ilupeju, among others.

Efforts to contact LSPWC for comments on why Magodo GRA Road had not been repaired failed, as the number provided on its website was switched off.

Also, a message of inquiry sent by our correspondent to another phone number provided on the corporation’s site has not been replied to as of the time of filing this report.

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