NIGERIAN ROADS AS DEATH TRAP
Anger, pain, tears as Nigerians continue to lose lives and limbs on deplorable roads
YESTERDAY, the potholes and craters on the Mile Two-Apapa stretch of the expressway claimed two legs.
That was in addition to the litany of those who have been killed or maimed and cars and trucks damaged, no thanks to the same deplorable state of roads, arguably one of the busiest in the country.
Tears flowed freely yesterday, even from the men, among the throng of sympathisers looking on in horror at the severed legs of the commercial motorcyclist.
An eyewitness told The Guardian the motorcyclist and his passenger were at the Berger Bus Stop when an approaching truck with Registration Number XT509JJJ loaded with two containers suddenly plunged into a huge pothole.
The passenger luckily jumped off to safety but the rider was unfortunately trapped, his two legs almost neatly severed in the accident.
No one could blame the truck driver who rolled on the ground calling for help as tears came streaming down his cheeks even as suggestions and even more suggestions came from among the crowd on how best to extricate the motorcycle rider from where he was trapped.
Though he had lost his two legs and much blood, he was still conscious.
Those at the scene of the accident blamed the government for the poor condition of most roads in the country, which have now become death traps in over the country.
Pointing at another pothole, Mr. Chika Okafor said: 'Just-look at this.
' If this all-important road had been repaired, none of this could have happened' while another sympathiser, Kazeem Ashafa told The Guardian that if he had the resources, he would 'have sued the government for neglecting a road it was statutorily expected to repair for the wellbeing of Nigerians so that such accidents that claimed the motorcyclist's legs might not have happened.'
He continued: 'Look at how this poor motorcyclist has ended up, due to negligence of our so-called leaders.
'What beats my imagination is that there is supposed to be a Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) that probably maintains roads in the moon.
'If any road in Lagos deserves the Federal Government's attention, that road should be Apapa-Mile Two -Oshodi Expressway, but I doubt if any other road has as many deep potholes and craters than this highway that connects the ports and the International Airport.
'The government and its agencies that have failed to do something about this road are responsible for this young man losing his two legs this afternoon', he said in obvious anger.
The anger Kazeem expressed about the potholes on the Apapa-Mile Two-Oshodi Expressway could as well have been expressed by other Lagosians who are fed up with the death traps many roads in the metropolis have become.
A resident of Ikotun in the Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area, Ike Nwosu, drives to work in the Lagos Island.
He said on average, he changes the shock absorbers of his car every two months.
'There are some potholes, especially between Iyana Ejigbo and Jakande Gate, Oke Afa that you will fall into and it will feel as if your car has broken into pieces.
' Sometimes, you can't avoid these potholes as they are too many and some of these big trucks threatening you from behind,' he said.
A commercial driver, Kayode Lawal, who plies Oshodi to Mile Two said potholes had torn the tyres of his vehicles on several occasions.
He lamented that year after year, 'government says it will spend so much on roads, yet they remain death-traps on which innocent motorists and their passengers are killed.
In Ajao Estate, in the Isolo Local Council Development Area of Lagos, a resident of Ati Okoye Street, Clementine Ejiro said she could not remember the last time an attempt was made by the council to rehabilitate the roads by filling the innumerable potholes on all streets and roads.
She told The Guardian: 'You can stand where you are now because today's rain was not heavy.
'If it had been, the whole of this place would have been impassable as what were mere potholes that could have been filled some two years ago have now
Another resident, Gabriel Nwana, however, blamed the potholes on heavy trucks and tankers that now use the roads that they were not built for.
According to him: 'Ajao Estate was primarily residential and the roads built according to the appropriate specifications.
'But there are many factories and industries here now and the trucks and trailers that serve them have contributed to the deterioration of roads in this area.
'Be that as it may, the local council needs to do something about the roads in Ajao Estate.'