Residents of Soliyi community, Gbagada, in the Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State, have decried the alleged neglect of the area, saying the state government abandoned them for the past 40 years.
The community said the only road linking the community to the outside world was too narrow for the more than 500,000 residents, who were usually held in heavy traffic jams.
They said they were afraid that the inauguration of a newly-constructed auditorium of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, could worsen traffic congestion in the community.
The Chairman of the Action Commitee, Mr. Moses Eniayewu, said residents wanted the government to create five additional routes to ease traffic in and out of the community.
He said, “Our community can only be accessed through one route – the Ayodele Okeowo Street – which serves as both the inlet and outlet to the community. There are over 500,000 people living here, who are mostly career men and women in various organisations, including traders and businessmen, who operate outside the community and have to commute daily to and from the community. This causes a lot of traffic in the morning and evening.
“We are afraid that by the time Deeper Life opens its new auditorium, which will take over 30,000 worshippers at a time, 700 luxurious buses and over 2,000 cars, we may be completely locked in. The Gbagada General Hospital, which is along that road, may also become inaccessible due to heavy traffic jams.”
Eniayewu said the community had been requesting additional routes from the government since 2013, adding that letters sent to the ministeries did not receive attention.
“We once wrote to the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Ministry of Urban and Regional Planning, and at a point, we sought the intervention of the Kosofe LGA.
“When we heard that the government planned to construct 181 roads in the state, we suggested that two of our roads should be considered. Our Sole Administrator told us she forwarded our request to the government; but nothing came out of it.
“We later wrote another letter through our representative in the state House of Assembly and wrote to the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode. The governor forwarded the letter to the commissioner for local government. The commissioner invited us for meetings twice. He later sent a director, one Mrs. Aina, who came for an on-the-spot assessment. We took her round the community and she took pictures. But nothing came out of it,” he added.
The Baale of Soliyi, Solomon Olamiju, said the community was ready to make sacrifices, including demolition of their property, for the five additional routes to be created.
He said, “For more than 40 years, we have been neglected. In this community, the electric poles and cables were bought through communal efforts. More than 50 inner roads were constructed through contributions of residents. Unfortunately, none has been tarred by the government. There is no health centre or primary school in Soliyi, despite our high population. The community is totally neglected.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that Ayodele Okeowo Street was also constructed through the help of a former resident by that name who graded the road before a private company tarred it.