Unending controversy has trailed the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. In these interviews, Nigerians express their opinions on who is to blame for the accidents on the road
The last time I travelled from Bayelsa State to Lagos, it was God that saved my life. Really, I don’t know what the government has been doing. It seems that the more money we have, the deeper we plunge into suffering.
The government should be concerned about the number of people that die on the road every week. If the road is fixed, accidents would be minimal.
Every expressway in the country should be tested every six months to check whether it is still structurally okay. Apart from regular road maintenance, the government also needs to step up sensitisation campaign on proper road usage. These would help to minimise accidents.- • Okejide Adeola (Member, National Youth Service Corps member)
The road has been in a terrible state in the past 10 years. I think the government should be concerned about the state of the road. You would observe that people die on the road almost every day. The truth is that those who drive on it daily should be commended. This is because some portions of the road have broken down completely. Yet, the facilities you have as a country are what the citizens would use. So, the drivers do not have an option.
The drivers, especially commercial ones, find a way to still manoeuvre on the bad portions. But when accidents occur, people who have not travelled on the road in the past 20 years would call drivers all sorts of names. The government, which has neglected the road for years, should be blamed. –• Olorunwa Oduwole (Gospel singer)
The challenge on the road is caused by the Federal Government. It is the responsibility of the government to rehabilitate the road. Afterwards, those who use the road pay their taxes.- • Shedrack Ogbonnayah (Official, National Union of Road Transport Workers)
In the past one year, nothing has been done on the road. The rehabilitation work has come to a standstill. You could say drivers are reckless. But not until the road is good, you cannot blame drivers. There is no basis to attribute accidents on the road to reckless driving when the road itself is a deathtrap. The government should do its part first and the issue of drivers’ recklessness could be addressed later.- • Wisdom Chukwuka (Driver)
Government’s neglect is responsible for the accidents that occur on the road daily. That means the Federal Government is, in the main, responsible for the innocent lives that have been wasted on the road. I have used the road since 1992. I started driving on it when I just finished secondary school. So, I know the history of the road and when it started deteriorating.
In those days, you would drive from the Ojota to Ogun-Oyo toll gate where you would pay the fare without applying the brakes of your vehicle. That was how good the road was back then. Then, I used to spend an hour from Ojota to Ibadan. Today, drivers spend two to three hours on the same road owing to the terrible nature of the road.- • Isa Azeez (Transporter)
The road is terribly bad. That affects both passengers and drivers. Some commercial drivers who used to ply the route have stopped because of the increasing number of accidents on the road. As far as I am concerned, we don’t have a responsible government. If we do, why should a road as important as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway be abandoned? Even the contractors that are working on it do not have sympathy for Nigerians. Otherwise, they would have patched the terrible areas pending the time when real construction work would get there. In that case, Nigerians would be happy and patient with them.- • Sarafa Akinsinde (Member, National Union of Road Transport Workers)
The government has enormous responsibility to make the road passable. But it is not doing that. On the accidents on the road, I think the Federal Government is to blame. I understand its rehabilitation is contracted almost every year. Have the contractors done what they are expected to do? Obviously, they have not.
Apart from the government, every driver has the responsibility to exercise caution while driving. Vehicle maintenance also plays a major role in avoiding road carnage. Most of the commercial vehicles that ply the road are not properly maintained. When badly maintained vehicles are driven by drunken drivers, accidents are inevitable. That is a huge challenge.
In percentage terms, I attribute 60 per cent of the accidents recorded on the road to the government while the remaining 40 per cent goes to careless driving. Passengers have a role to play but theirs is minimal. Public officials ply the road regularly, so they should know its status and come up with a plan on how to fix it.- • Kehinde Ayo (Physiotherapist)
For me, drivers, not the government, are more responsible for the frequent accidents on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Though widening the road and carrying out proper maintenance would help, the major challenge is caused by recklessness. Some drivers drink before they start their trips. Such drivers and their passengers are at risk even if the road has no pothole. If accidents are only caused by poor roads, why do we still have accidents on newly-constructed roads? I attribute 65 per cent of the accidents on Lagos-Ibadan road to reckless driving.- • Deborah Awodusi (Network marketer)
Some of the young drivers are not patient. You need to be patient to drive on roads like the Ibadan-Lagos Expressway. So, I blame the frequency of accidents on dangerous driving and irresponsible government. On Tuesday, a truck crashed into a commercial bus, leading to the death of many passengers. The accident could have been avoided if the road was good.
Now, everybody is suffering the neglect. Ojota (Lagos) to Ibadan now costs N1,000 by bus. Supposing the road was good, I am sure the fare would not be more than N500. Those who drive their personal vehicles waste several hours when travelling because of the terrible state of the road.- • Adepoju Adebanjo (Driver)