Residents in the Lagos Mainland community in Lagos State have appealed to the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) not to deny them access roads to their residence and means of livelihood with the construction of a fence in the area.
According to them, the fence has affected the quality of lives of residents and also cut-off businesses from patronage.
Meanwhile, LAMATA is constructing a tarmac along the Otto railway in Lagos Mainland for the maintenance of its railways.
The affected communities are; Odaliki botanical garden, Ifesowapo Jones Otto/Ilogbo extension CDA, Ilogbo Shemore CDA and Ifeoluwa CDA.
Speaking on its impact on businesses, representative of hotel owners, Mayowa Agboola, said businesses have been recording low patronage and running at a loss since the construction of the fence.
He explained, “LAMATA came to our community about a year ago for the project. A meeting was held with them and they promised that the construction work would not in any way affect our businesses. They promised to provide an access route but contrary to their promise, they erected a fence that has caged us and our businesses away from the outer part of the district. This is affecting quality of life and patronage. If there is an emergency, the effect would be disastrous as there is no emergency exit.
“We are not fighting with LAMATA. We are peaceful communities. We are only appealing for the construction of an access route for the convenience of residents and businesses.”
Apart from businesses, Secretary of the community, Joel Sunday disclosed that over 500,000 residents including schools, mosques and churches are also affected.
He stated, “Pupils are denied access to their schools. There are no healthcare facilities in the four communities. Residents would have to travel as far as Lagos Island and Health Centre to access these important facilities using this only access road which LAMATA has blocked.
“Can you imagine the number of casualties that would be recorded in the case of an emergency? There is no access to the police in the case of attacks on the community by the hoodlums. We want LAMATA to construct a foot bridge for the affected communities. We don’t want them to cut us out of the hustling and bustling activities Oyingbo is known for.”
Head, Lagos Mainland Security, Comrade Agbodemu Ishola Musbau raised some concerns over the implications of the barricade on the security of the communities.
He said, “Our concern is that if LAMATA situates its workshop along the rail line, it will cut-off the communities and bring about an increased crime rate particularly along the rail line. And in the case of such, how would police officers from Denton Police Station gain access into the community?
“It will be difficult if not impossible for them to access the community to assist. The welfare of residents in the communities would be affected. The community is appealing for an access road or a foot bridge to be constructed in the community. We don’t want to be caged as doing so would threaten the peace of the community.”
Reacting, Spokesman of LAMATA, Kola Ojelabi, said, “LAMATA didn’t promise to construct a foot bridge for the affected communities. We didn’t promise a pedestrian bridge. We need to protect our investments and that explains the fencing. They cannot tell us not to construct but we are going to create an access road for the communities.”
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