By: Kelechi Deca
Yesterday, it took me four hours to get to Anthony from Adeniran Ogunsanya, Surulere. A truck lost control on the Ojuelegba overhead bridge, and came falling on vehicles, and human beings below. An accident that ordinarily could take less than hour for officials to handle, and restore free flow of traffic lasted for seven hours of traffic gridlock. Yet there is a Federal Fire Service barracks at Ojuelegba, the headquarters, Area C Police Command is located there, the Headquarters of the Nigerian Army Reece Battalion is located there, Headquarters, Nigerian Army Band is located there and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital is five minutes drive. Ojuelegba is located on a very busy intersection that never sleeps, it is very accessible from every part of Lagos. Yet it took hours before people could be rescued. I had to drive from Ogulana Drive to Ishaga Junction to Idi Araba down to Sadiku on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and back to Anthony. Four excruciating hours….
A state that makes laws it has no intention of implementing or executing will have high level of lawlessness within its borders. A state that don’t even have rules and regulations in areas that truly matter will still end up with chaos within its vicinity.
Containers falling off rickety flatbeds towed by over aged trucks is a common occurrence in Lagos, it has become so common that every month that no container agrees to fall off the back of a truck, we will be wondering what is amiss.
Who inspects trucks that ply Lagos Roads, who ensures that they meet relevant aspects of the MOT tests? Who ensures rickety trucks that are moving time bombs are stamped off-road in this state? And who ensures that the Lagos Traffic Law which stipulates that trucks heavier than 30 tonnes should not ply the roads between 6am and 10 pm every day is obeyed?
Very old rickety trucks…..
There are very few places on earth where you can see a functioning Super Beaver Truck, except ofcourse in Lagos, and here, they tow 60ft containers, crawling through 4 meter high overhead bridges, and often times getting dismembered due to the fact that the force of their cargoes are more than their toques.
You cant get any of these trucks with a manufactured year later than 1966, meaning we still have almost 50 year old ill-maintained trucks on our roads. Super Beaver was manufactured by Leyland between 1944 and 1966, the last was made in 1969.
Another brand of old rickety trucks that populate Lagos roads is trucks built before 1979 by Iveco, (Industrial Vehicles Corporation) many of those trucks are going to four decades, and they are ill maintained.
Why is Lagos roads so unsafe that even people who are neither driving or are in vehicles as passengers are equally at risk of dying via road mishaps?
Because nobody cares………
Every relevant agency in the Lagos State Ministry of Transport has made revenue generation its basic mandate instead of regulations and execution of regulations. From LASTMA to VIO, each agency compete everyday on which will haul in the most funds while neglecting the basic objectives of which they were set up. Every day LASTMA will commandeer as many Policemen as they can, using them to extort money from commercial bus drivers while the job of policing suffers. More Policemen in Lagos today waste man hour pursuing Danfo drivers, and fighting with Keke drivers instead of fighting crime.
Little wonder crime is on the rise again in the State.