Some motorists and traders at motor parks in Jibowu, Lagos state have criticised the Lagos State government’s order to vehicles and buses plying inter-state routes from the area to relocate to Ojota and Ojodu Berger.
In separate interviews with PREMIUM TIMES, they described the move as a sad development.
“What would we go to do in Ojota and Ojodu Berger? Who do we know there?” one of the motorists asked.
The Lagos State government had, on Wednesday, issued a seven-day ultimatum to inter-state transporters at Jibowu to move to the government’s designated parks in Ojota and Ojodu Berger.
According to Steve Ayorinde, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, the operators in the area had not ”been tidy and the order became imperative in the overall interest of the people.”
“Take for instance, the new Jersey barricades here are being destroyed and they are built with taxpayers’ money. Yes, the initial accident (here) was caused by a vehicle but we have seen people showing disrespect to taxpayers’ money and that we can no longer allow,” Mr. Ayorinde said.
“We have also seen the way nuisance have taken over everything particularly areas that are being used by the operators of the inter-state buses in spite of the repeated warnings that this is no longer acceptable. Sometimes you come here late in the night and you encounter criminal elements and the government is saying we can no longer take this.”
When PREMIUM TIMES visited the area on Thursday, police vehicles numbering over 10 had already been drafted to the area, as well as a number of tow trucks.
Motorists were seen in groups discussing the latest development in hushed tones.
There were no inter-state vehicles waiting to convey passengers.
Asake Ashekun, a trader, said she was devastated by the government’s decision.
“I’m currently a HND 2 student at the Lagos State Polytechnic and I sponsor myself from selling things to travellers here,” she said.
“Many persons survive here daily and there have been no major issues, the truth is what the government wants to do in beautifying this area they did not create an alternative before making the decision.”
A motorist who identified himself as Tochukwu spoke on the issues that may have led to the government’s decision.
“The truth is the government made a decision due to the usual traffic log-jam here and the way they use the road especially those who sell things all time but there has been no provision regarding this relocation even (Ojodu) Berger is already filled, there is no space in Ojota, they seem not to care about people’s welfare.”
Another motorist, who declined to be named, said the government’s decision would impact negatively on his ability to take care of his family, especially paying his kids’ school fees for the new school term.
“They did not make provision for us at all,” he said.
“The truth is I survive here daily, I send my child to school from this little business and they are saying we should go to Berger, there is nowhere to go there, will I just go there and park in front of a house?
“I cannot go on and steal, many persons here will become something else if nothing is done, if they are not engaged they will end up becoming criminals, but my livelihood is threatened.”