Commuters on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Sunday were stranded as livestock traders caused gridlock on the road.
In anticipation of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, the traders around the Kara Market, Ogun State, displayed their animals on the road, thereby restricting motorists to a little portion of the road.
Our correspondents observed that the backlog of traffic outward Lagos reached the Ikeja, Alausa Secretariat end of the expressway, while the backlog of traffic inward Lagos got to the Olowotedo end of the expressway around 5pm.
One of our correspondents observed that due to the traders’ display of rams on the road, would-be buyers parked on both sides of the expressway.
A commercial driver heading towards Ibadan, Oyo State, who identified himself simply as Ramon, said his experience on the road had been unpleasant.
He said, “It’s been crazy these past weeks, but we are coping. There is no other motivation I have other than the hike in transport fare. I hope the government can help put things back to normal because it’s taking a toll on people’s health.”
PUNCH Metro confirmed the hike in transport fares as Lagos to Ibadan was boarded between N3,000 and N5,000, as against the former N1,500 to N2,000, while Lagos to Warri was boarded for N8,000, as against the initial rate of N5,500.
A commuter coming from Akure, who identified herself only as Simisola, told PUNCH Metro that she encountered the gridlock around the Ibafo area, adding that she spent two hours in the traffic before deciding to take a motorcycle to her destination.
She said, “We left Akure this morning for Lagos. The journey was smooth until we got to the Ibafo area, where we got into the traffic. At first, we thought it was just something we could endure, but when I noticed that we had spent two hours on standstill, I had to wait till when the driver got to Magboro. I got down and took a motorcycle to Arepo. Many passengers had alighted from the bus to take motorcycles before I also disembarked.”
A buyer at the Kara market, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he parked his vehicle by the expressway because there were no parking spaces in the market, adding that government should have arranged the market properly to ease vehicular movement.
The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on the Environment, Ola Oresanya, said government would liaise with security agencies to control the traders.
He said, “We have warned those selling on the expressway before now. We are controlling the cattle markets in Abeokuta, Sango-Otta and Odeda, but those in Kara will be raided tomorrow (Monday). We did not anticipate that of Kara and we aren’t prepared today (Sunday). We will work with the police to tackle the problem.”