Iju-Ota bridge protest: Sanity returns as Olota, TRACE, police intervene

Olota, Ajibade addressing the protesters

Timely intervention by the Olota of Ota, Oba Abdulkabir Obalanlege, Area Commander, Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, Adekunle Ajibade and the Divisional Police Officer, Onipanu, Ota, Job Bamidele, doused the protest by some residents over the incessant accidents at Iju Bridge axis along Sango-Ota-Idiroko Road occasioned by the bad state of the international road.

Meanwhile, the TRACE Corps Commander/CEO ‘Seni Ogunyemi has ordered 24hours traffic control by TRACE operatives on the axis that experienced not fewer than three different accidents in the past two weeks.

Vehicular movement was disrupted by the protesters on Friday morning as barricaded the road armed with placards which bore various inscriptions some of which read “Fixed Our Roads Now”, “Enough Of Deadly Accident On Iju Bridge”, among others.

A spokesman of the protesting youth, Sola Aderinto, said they were blocking the expressway to show their greivances to both the state and federal government.

He lamented that many lives had been lost to many road crashes due to the bad state of the road, especially around the Iju bridge, adding there was the need for the government to urgently expand the road.

Aderinto said,, “Many lives had been lost to numerous accidents and the only way we can call the attention of the government is to demonstrate by blocking the road.”

Representing the Corps Commander/CEO, Ajibade pacified the protesters to shield their sword and allow free flow of Traffic, saying new order of the TRACE boss has commenced immediately.

He said, “The TRACE authority is very much aware of the happenings here and has swung into preventive action to ensure proper traffic control such that would not allow repetition of any accident here again. You can see our men controlling traffic and checking excessive speed of motorists which has been the major cause the accidents.”

Ajibade however pleaded with motorists, especially truck drivers and tricycle operators, a.k.a. Marwa to stop reckless driving and unnecessary manuovering while on the wheel.

He advised motorists to be conscious of high concentration of trucks due to centralisation of industries on the axis.

The Olota of Ota, Obalanlege, had earlier appealed to the protesting youths to remove the barricades and allow flow of traffic. The first class monarch said he had already discussed the problem of the road with the Minister of Works, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, who promised the government would fix it.

The youths were protesting and burning tyres on the road to express their frustration and anger, saying government representatives in Ota seemed to be clueless, heartless and less concerned about lives being lost on the road on daily basis.

NOTM reports that fatal accident reported on the Iju Ota bridge on Thursday 15th September 2022, at about 4pm, was said to have taken at least two lives according to eye witness account, while some others suffered varying degrees of injury.

It was further gathered that this accident happened barely a week when a fatal accident that took five lives happened on the same bridge.

Thursday’s incident sparked outrage on social media while some residents of the area later protested about the bad state of the road and intentional neglect by both the federal government and political representatives of the local government.

Meanwhile, the Ogun State Police Command has advised the protesting youths to always report their grievances to appropriate authority rather than blocking the road.

The Police spokesperson in the state, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, gave the advice while talking to our correspondent on the issue.

Oyeyemi noted that blocking the expressway would only worsen the problem of motorists and residents around the axis.

“It is never the solution to the incessant cases of accidents happening on the road rather they should appeal to the appropriate authority to listen to their plights.

“Youths can simply appeal to the government that has something to do something on the road whether they would expand the roads rather than blocking the road to cause unnecessary hardships to those going for their lawful businesses,”he said.





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