Lagos’ Progressive Legacies By Eniola Ajayi
I left my office on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos by about quarter to 6pm on Tuesday, August 23 and by 6pm, I was already at the base of the bridge at Iyana-Oworo. I was pleasantly surprised again that we could descend the Third Mainland Bridge at such a record time. When this started happening a couple of weeks back, I thought it was a fluke but alas, it has happened over and over again.
Ayo, my musician/driver and I started analysing the new phenomenon on the Third Mainland Bridge traffic. We initially thought it might also be due to the fact that children were on holiday.
We later had to reason that how many children live on the Mainland and school on the Island? It finally dawned on us that it must be the bus stop at the foot of the bridge.
This definitely makes sense, with about four lanes of different categories of vehicles veering off to discharge passengers thus leaving the road free for vehicular movement. I began to wonder why no one ever thought of it. Of course, it is common in Nigeria to refer to so many places on the road as bus stops without actually making provision for the bus to stop.
In many cases, where there are provisions, the drivers refused to use them. Some brazen drivers even discharged passengers on express roads. In fact, it is assumed by many motorists that bus stops are for commercial vehicles only.
Thus, discharging passengers along the road is the norm. It does not stop at that, LASTMA officers and the police are on hand to ensure compliance. I am very delighted to see this development going on all over Lagos State.
I see pedestrian bridges springing up at Berger, Anthony Oke, Mile 12 and so on. I was quite happy to see the construction for traffic diversion at Berger Bus Stop too. Ayo told me about the massive construction going on at Abule-Egba area. I am really happy and grateful. This is surely an answer to my prayers. I am from Ekiti State. Lagos is my second home. I prayed earnestly that Lagos State would remain under the leadership of a progressive governor having seen the gains we made starting with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and through the Babatunde Fashola years. I must admit that I was initially put off by Akinwunmi Ambode when it seemed as though he wasn’t going to continue to build on the sterling legacies of his predecessors. I felt they had laid such a solid foundation for him that all he needed was to build on it. I am glad to say that he’s doing just that now.
With the street lights coming up, new and expanded bus stops, pedestrian bridges and roads, progress is for sure. With a free flow of traffic, commerce will improve in Lagos. The quality of life will improve. Our vehicles will last longer. Our environment will suffer less pollution. Thieves will find it more difficult to operate. The benefits are countless. The important thing is that if we all try to contribute in small ways to add value to our daily existence in our small areas of influence, life will be so much better for all of us.
The change we need starts with each one contributing what will make life easier for everyone. Life is much better lived when it embraces consideration for others. Little things make a difference. I will never forget the difference in traffic flow we experienced with that little diversion under the bridge in-between Muson Centre and the Nigerian Army Officers Mess in the Tafawa Balewa Square area leading to Ikoyi/Victoria Island during the time of Fashola. How can I forget Allen Avenue traffic until it was demarcated during the time of Tinubu?
The point I am making is, let this little value additions continue, they add up. No city or country can be built in a day. The important thing is that we must keep building and making progress. Brick by brick a house is built.
Traffic reduction with expanded or new bus stops would not have been noticeable with roads riddled with potholes. Somebody took time to fix the roads before this intervention could be meaningful. We need to have leaders who understand the meaning of continuity in governance. It is not about personal achievements, it is about progressive legacies. It is not about personal empires it is about building our commonwealth for generations yet unborn. It is about all of us.
The beautiful thing is that we Nigerians are very easy to please especially when our leaders understand that little things make a big difference. Prosperity will be forever grateful to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode if he could rid the Lagos metropolis totally of traffic. The little bus stop at Iyana-Oworo has definitely made a big difference.
Progress makes for peace and prosperity. Let the progress continue, the best has yet to come.
Ajayi, a medical doctor, sent this piece from Lagos