By John Njoku
To emphasize that Gafaru street, one of the domains of Igando/Ikotun Local Council Development Area has been all-time macadamised is to stress the obvious. And to state that the population of Lagosians dwelling there have face the excruciating situation for about 2 decades is also a reality that keeps astonishing citizens who wonder what is amiss.
Around Gafaru street are other roads that have continually received both local and state govt. attentions. For instance, the popular Ijegun, Abaranje and Onikotun roads have severally been fixed to the delight of road users and residents. But Gafaru street has continued to suffer neglect and abandonment untill it has become some disgusting impassable terrain full of gullies that appear like death traps or some setting for a horror movie.
When Timeswatch visited this place not-fit-to-be-called-Lagos, it was discovered that the deadly erosion that keeps eating the earth in this environment had so destroyed the topography to the extent that some vehicles owned by residents remained trapped where they were parked, and it was shocking that majority of them have spoilt because they remained immovable as a result of the impossibility occassioned by the gullies in front of buildings. Infact, fences have been washed away and drainages have been swept away by steady erosion surge, leaving residents frustrated and children moving in and out dangerous gullies as their onely manner of locomotion. Disregarding insinuations that the authorities are too broke to tackle this menace, one thing remains striking about the testimonies of some residents. And this is the claim that the area was abandoned by the Lagos authorities owing to the fact that it used to be a strong base of the opposition (the PDP).
Timeswatch also gathered that the place was neglected due to the fact that the place was named after an unrepentant Peoples Democratic Party Chieftain who was once a Local Council Leader.
The residents noted that the apathy was so strong that even when some govt. officials came with materials that suggested construction action, they eventually disappeared to the chagrin of the people without any explanation or whatsoever.
Not even the Community Development Association stakeholders of the area with all their media efforts have been able to drag the govt to remedy the ugly situation.
Sorry and unfortunate is the fact that when it rains, families and schools in that vicinity would have to take special precautionary measures to forestall erosion-connected accidents and other mishaps; a situation that means that if there was a torrential rainfall at about 7am on a school day, children or pupils must be safeguarded at home for another 2 hours for the flood to dissipate before they can reach school.
When Governor Ambode built several roads and fixed streets, Gafaru, was excluded perhaps for the afforestated reasons. And the present Local Council administration is at its twilight without any sign that the area will be visited, even with the situation of the area that could lead to the Agodo/Egbe axis of the state getting worse than ever.
As the painful experience of Gafaru people persists, the question on the lips of many a resident is – Will Govt Ever Come To The Rescue of The People ?and the concern on their minds is, will the apathy that perhaps led to the suffering ever end?