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OSHODI-APAPA EXPRESS WAY, MATTERS ARISING

By Gloria Okezie-OKAFOR

This route is central to Lagos, and it’s important for many reasons. Most heavy duty vehicles ply this route for economic reasons. A lot of industries can be sighted along the axis.

But the road has suffered neglects for a longtime and still does. Successive governments have promised to fix it to no avail.

Although work is said to be ongoing in this area, the question is how fast and how effective is it?

Driving along this road –which includes the popular Mile2 expressway –can be akin to taking a journey down hell.

Some businesses cannot relocate because of the sighting of the Apapa-Tincan and Port which plays vital roles to their businesses.

Commercial buses, bikes (the popular Okada), and heavy duty trucks struggles for space on this highway, all at the risk of the worker who must report to work 9-5 everyday.

The experience along this road is not a good story to write home about as commuters spend several excruciating hours just to get to their destinations. Most of them take the risk of boarding a bike just to beat time.

And to make matters worst, commercial drivers –buses, bikes, and even trucks –drives with reckless abandon.

Just last night a terrible accident occurred few minutes before 8pm, involving a heavy truck and two commercial buses.

As at the time of approaching the scene, no one knows how many casualties there were, as most of the passengers had vacated the buses, except for the lifeless body of the conductor tucked under the heavy tyres of the truck, his waist ripped off.

Some eye witness accounts had it that the bus conductor was the worst casualty as he attempted to jump off the moving bus.

This accident had happened because some commercial buses were driving one-way (against traffic) because of the constant gridlock which often characterised driving along this popular route. Heavy vehicles can be sighted as turning the highway into their parking lots.

Granted that the drivers –especially the commercial bus drivers, Okada riders, and truck drivers –can be careless on steering, the truth is the government had equally failed to do the needful.

Most of these drivers are high on drugs, especially the local gins and their combinations. It behoves on the law enforcement agents to begin to check on drivers and their state of mind behind the steering.

Also, the bus conductors should be banned from hanging on the door of their vehicles. Often times, these bus conductors look like mad people because they hardly take care of themselves.

It is about time that the government begins to pay attention to how the society is been run. A peaceful and organised society is a credit to the government. A chaotic society is a time bomb waiting to explode.

So many deaths can be avoided on the Oshodi-Mile2-Apapa express road. Now with one more death, whose fault is it –the government or the people?

Gloria Okezie Okafor, a public affairs commentator, writes from Lagos

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