Residents of Magboro community in the Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State have decried the deplorable state of the road connecting the community to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
They accused the state government of abandoning the underpass to the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministry, which had fixed the road many times due to its closeness to the church’s campground.
The road, which is under the Magboro Bridge, serves as a thoroughfare connecting the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the MFM church and Magboro community.
Our correspondent, who visited the area on Monday, observed as vehicles and trucks meander through the water-lodged potholes that dotted the road.
Motorists lamented that the bad portions were damaging their vehicles.
A car owner, who identified himself simply as Femi, said, “We want government intervention on this road. We cannot continue like this. Since the beginning of the rainy season, plying the road has become a problem. The potholes have also become bigger to the point that some of them have now turned to ditches.”
Another motorist, who beckoned on our correspondent while he took pictures of the road, said, “I hope you people are ready to fix this road. Please make it fast. It is taking longer and getting worse by the day.”
A resident, Ridwan Akanle, who runs a business centre in the area, said MFM used to fix the road.
He said, “The church has been responsible for patching this road for a long time. They fix it from the stretch of their gate down to the end of the bridge here. But they stopped after the COVID-19 pandemic made them stop hosting large gatherings. They have also moved their headquarters from here to Lagos.”
Another resident, who simply identified himself as Tunji, said the state government was to blame for the deplorable condition of the road.
“The Ogun State Government has relaxed concerning this road. It should not be left to MFM alone,” he added.
Our correspondent also gathered that several commuters had been injured after falling from motorcycles plying the road.
A motorcyclist, who gave his name as Akorede, said, “We have had instances where both okada men and their passengers fell and got injured in the process.”
A roadside mechanic, Abraham Francis, said, “Trucks and vehicles get stuck while passing this road and some of them break down, thereby causing gridlock. If you had come earlier, you would have met a truck that broke down while trying to force its way out of that big pothole. It was just recently that MFM filled that particular portion, but the rain has affected it.”
PUNCH Metro observed that a section under the bridge was occupied by petty traders and sand miners.
A granite seller, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We don’t have what it takes to fix the road because of the level of damage. The Magboro Community Development Association has been doing their best, including MFM. The CDA fixed the drainage you are seeing there, and whenever they want to carry out any repair, they reach out to us and we contribute our quota.”
Another trader under the bridge disclosed that they paid officers of the local government regular rates, which could have been used to fix the road.
An information officer at MFM, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “MFM has always fixed the road as part of its corporate social responsibility, but the moment all manners of trailers start plying the route, they mess it up. The last time I passed there, despite the fact that I drove a bit, I thought the car was going to somersault because of the size of the hole.”
He urged the local and state government to also “rise to the occasion and support the church.”
The Ogun State Commissioner for Information, Waheed Odusile, said some of the roads connecting the state to neighbouring states were priority projects of the government.
He said, “We have fixed some of such roads in Akute, Sango-Ota and Iju areas. So, we want a smooth transition for people moving in and out of the state. Some of these roads have been there for years before this government came on board, but that does not mean we won’t fix them. Some of them actually need reconstruction, and some need palliatives. The government cannot do everything at a time. So we are doing these roads one after the other.”
Odusile said the state would soon fix the road.