•Commuters, others jubilate as govt opens 1.4km Agege flyover
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, said Lagos State was heading in a wrong direction within 2017-2018 before the incumbent Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was elected.
The former state governor said upon assumption of office, Sanwo-Olu had turned the ship of the state into the right direction.
Tinubu disclosed this on Friday at the opening of 1.4km-long Agege Pen Cinema flyover which commenced in December 2017 during the administration of ex-Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was absent at the inauguration.
He said Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, had shown good leadership quality since they took on the mantle of governance.
He noted that many political leaders were initially skeptical about the choice of the Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat ticket but they were later convinced.
Tinubu said, “Sometime in 2017-2018, the ship of this state seemed to have headed in a very wrong direction. History had it that we came together, an election came and we chose a democratically-elected government of the people, our people, and for the people. They say ‘who is Babajide Sanwo-Olu’? We said, ‘you will find out’.
“Ever since Babajide became the captain of the ship of our state, he has turned it round to the right direction of progress, development, and good leadership quality. Both of you (Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat) and the entire cabinet have demonstrated unequal determination to redevelop and rebuild for the people of Lagos. You have made us see a fine and determined government for the progress and quality of life of our people.
“We have a team led by Babajide Sanwo-Olu, partnered with Hamzat, and it is a team of great performers and doers. Out of adversity, you make prosperity. Instead of showing demonstration and frustration, you put your hands on the plough. Since then, Lagos State has become one giant construction site throughout the nation. We thank you for not letting us down.”
Reflecting on destruction during the violence that stemmed from #EndSARS protest, Tinubu urged youths in the state to shun chaos and learn to communicate their grievances to the government without disrupting the public peace.
Sanwo-Olu said the bridge, a dual carriageway, was designed to ease off the perennial traffic in the area and reduce travel time.
He said, “One of the most critical challenges being experienced on a daily basis by residents and road users along the Agege Pen Cinema area over the years is the heavy traffic volume occasioned by the geometric increase in traffic.
“Residents and road users along this area have clamoured for a solution to the suffocating nature of the perennial gridlock occasioned by the huge human and vehicular traffic, flowing through this intersection.
“To address the challenge of this huge traffic burden, our administration decided to continue with the construction of a precast and pre-stressed reinforced concrete dual-carriage flyover and ramp, with road works, across the Agege Pen Cinema intersection which was then at about 20 per cent completion.”
Meanwhile, the inauguration was greeted with pomp and circumstance as different cultural groups treated politicians, their colourfully-dressed supporters, transport workers and other social groups to music and dance.
Tents bearing names of lawmakers representing the area, council leaders and market groups were erected at various spots in the corridors.
Residents and commuters along said the completion of the project was a huge relief to them after enduring the hitches occasioned by the construction.
A lawyer, who plies the route regularly, Lekan Quadri, said, “I am excited about the opening of the bridge. It will ease the stress we go through on this axis on a daily basis. It is a laudable project. It was quite hectic while the construction was on. Government should work on narrow roads around Command and Ipaja areas too to address gridlock.”
A resident of Olawoyin Street, Pen Cinema, who sells foodstuffs in the community, Ramata Ogunlowo, said she was happy she could now display her goods.
She added, “When the bridge was under construction, I could not make as many sales as I used to because my stand was close to the site and I could not display my goods. I believe sales would pick up again now that the bridge is ready.”
Chairman, Liberty Unity of National Union of Road Transport Workers in Agege, Folorunsho Yakubu, said buses shuttling between Agege and Ifo in Ogun State would henceforth operate smoothly.
A landlord, Mrs Mariam Kumoye, said, “I am excited because the project has added some beauty to the community. It will address traffic problems around here and have a positive impact on the commercial activities.”
How Tinubu brought me to Lagos Assembly – Obasa
Also at the inauguration venue, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, narrated the role Tinubu played in ensuring his first election into the House in 2007.
Obasa, who represents Agege Constituency 1 in the Assembly, later became Speaker in 2015.
He said, “Our father, we can’t thank him enough. What we are doing here in Agege today (Friday), he laid the foundation in 1992 and we have continued to build and sustain that foundation. And we have resolved we will never let you down. We will continue to stand for that name BAT – Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”