The Sango-Ota, Ogun State end of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, was on lockdown on Wednesday when members of the Nigerian Labour Congress in the state and some residents protested against the deplorable condition of the road.
The NLC had on October 6 stormed the highway with a threat to shut down the state if nothing was done about the road within 21 days.
The union members, after the expiration of the ultimatum, mobilised to the expressway and blocked it.
The workers and residents carried placards with different inscriptions, including, “Enough of bad governance”, “Dapo Abiodun, let us enjoy the dividends of democracy in Ogun”, “Dapo, this suffering is too much”, “Hear our cries, Ogun people are suffering”, “Dapo repair our roads, it is our right,” among others.
The protest created gridlock, as many travellers plying the road were stranded.
The NLC Chairman in the state, Emmanuel Bankole, said Ogun workers had declared the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, a “persona non grata” for deceiving them.
He said, “Interestingly, a few days ago, they started some works. We can see some loads of granites by the state government. But this was not what we asked for. The minister was here and he promised to commence immediate palliative, which is yet to happen.
“As such, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, for coming to lie to the citizens of Ogun State, has been declared a persona non grata in Ogun State. We are declaring him an enemy of Ogun State. We don’t want to see him in Ogun State for coming to fool and deceive us that palliative works will commence and nothing was done.
“The Federal Government cannot be collecting all the money and be inflicting pains on us.”
The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, expressed disappointment at the demonstration.
Abiodun, who described the protest as “unfortunate”, stated this at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, while speaking in a virtual meeting with representatives of the Ogun East Senatorial District on the 2022 budget.
He said, “The attempted demonstration in Sango-Ota today is most unfortunate. Some people take delight in painting our state in a colour that does not represent our state.
“Ogun and Lagos governments have made attempts to get the Federal Government to release the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road to us for reconstruction, but no response.
“I have called on several occasions for the Federal Government to give attention to the road. That road did not just get bad in the last two years.”
The governor called on people to stop playing politics with issues affecting the lives of residents.
He disclosed that N75bn would be needed to rebuild the road, adding that the state did not have such funds.Follow us on social media