LAGOS residents may have to brace up for a difficult travel time as major political parties gear up for campaigns in the state, ahead of the 2023 elections.
Political parties are expected to ramp up campaigns in high voter states like Lagos, Kano, Rivers and Oyo. For Lagos, there are ongoing constructions in the state, like the Lagos-lbadan expressway, the Lagos-Airport link Bridge at Toyota Bus stop and others, which are impeding free commuting in the nation’s commercial nerve centre.
Presently, a journey of less than 45 minutes from Mowe/lbafo to Oshodi could take up to three hours or more, while motorists connecting the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), from Oshodi-Apapa expressway have to go through extra kilometers to connect from Anthony Village roundabout due to ongoing reconstruction work at the Airport link Bridge.
A resident, Maurice Osas, expressed worries that with political parties announcing their state to state campaigns, traffic will be grounded and compounded in the state. Osas believes that only a few people will benefit from the campaigns, while majority of residents are made to suffer.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), has issued a travel advisory, urging the motoring public to make use of the alternative routes to connect their desired destinations to reduce delays because of the upcoming All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential and Gubernatorial Campaign slated for Saturday at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
The advisory urged commuters going from lkorodu road to Lagos lsland to use Funsho Williams Avenue, or take Ketu to Ojota Interchange via Alapere/Ogudu/Third Mainland Bridge and continue your journey or Anthony interchange/ Gbagada/ Third Mainland Bridge and continue your journey.
Alternatively, the agency said, commuters can also take Fadeyi/ Jibowu/Herbert Macaulay Way/Adekunle/ Third Mainland Bridge to connect destination or Fadeyi/Jibowu/Herbert Macaulay Way Alagomeji/Murtala Muhammed Way Alagomeji / Iddo-Oyingbo / Carter Bridge (Idumota) and connect desired destination.
Vehicles coming from Agege motor road to Lagos lsland through Funsho Williams Avenue are to connect via Moshalasi/Empire/Jibowu Herbert Macaulay Way/Adekunle/Third Mainland Bridge to connect desired destination or use Moshalasi Empire/Jibowu/Herbert Macaulay Way/Alagomeji/ Murtala Muhammed Way/ Iddo/Oyingbo/ Carter Bridge (Idumota) and connect desired destination.
Residents transiting through lkorodu road to Surulere are advised to use Ojuelegba (Service Lane)/Lawanson/Itire Road/ Ogunlana Drive/Akerele Street/ Shitta and continue with your journey or use Stadium Bridge/ Alaka/Bode Thomas Street and connect destination
The commuting public from that axis can also use Alaka/ Iponri/ Iponri Estate/Bode Thomas Street and continue with your journey or from Iponri/ Costain /Abebe Village (Nigerian Breweries)/Eric Moore/ Bode Thomas Street and connect desired destination
Those coming from Lagos lsland/Eko Bridge to lkorodu road are to use Funsho Williams Avenue on main carriage way Ojuelegba Bridge/Dorman -Long Bridge via Fadeyi and continue your journey.
The advisory also states that motorists from Lagos lsland/Eko Bridge/Constain to Surulere should use Costain Abebe Village (Nigerian Breweries)/ Eric Moore via Bode Thomas Street and connect desired destination or connect via Costain Iponri Estate / Bode Thomas and continue your journey. It revealed that commuters can also connect via Eko Bridge/Stadium Bridge/Barracks/Ojuelegba (Service Lane) through Lawanson-Itire Road and continue your journey.
The advisory went on and on, explaining how Lagosians should cope with the dislocation, warning that there will be zero tolerance on unlawful and haphazard parking of vehicles on both sides of the Stadium Bridge, hence all party dignitaries (VVIPs, VIPs), guests, stalwarts, party faithfuls and members are enjoined to make use of the designated Car Parks at Teslim Balogun Stadium and National Stadium to promote sanity, orderliness, safety and security of lives and property, as well as free flow of traffic.
Reacting, a motorist, Mr. Lade Adeyemi, said residents should expect a serious traffic situation irrespective of whatever travel advisory by LASTMA.
“ It is so sad that we don’t get travel advisory for road reconstruction. For instance what happened at the Lagos Airport link Bridge was that we saw all of a sudden that the bridge is shut down. But when politicians want to campaign to disrupt the activities of the people, they issue a travel advisory.”
“Even without political rallies, this is Lagos and there is always traffic. My advice for people is that if you are not part of them, just postpone any activity you have in town for that day, because we are talking about one of the major political parties holding rallies in Lagos, where a front runner in the presidential election is from the state. For me, people should not expect the usual traffic. It is going to be hectic, there could be traffic lockdown in some areas.”
However, he advised people to recognize that it is election campaign season and more shutdowns should be expected.