Recently the expression “Knee on the neck” has become an addition to the numbers of metaphorical expressions used to described a killer action.
As a borrow of “A stitch in time saves nine” from the lessons in the deliberate choking knee on the throat of late George Floyd, Badagry’s throat is no doubt under some knees that can choke/suffocate Badagry to death, if nothing spontaneously drastic is embarked on. Some but not limited to the following are “knees” on the throat of Badagry begging and gasping for breath:
1. Lagos-Badagry Expressway (Particular focus on the Agbara to Badagry portion)
2. Astronomically high numbers of checkpoints
3. Failing Local Government Administration
As a road user heading to Badagry from Agbara, your harrowing experience and bitter taste of throat blockage begins with the completely collapsed road. The state of the road collapse is that of an abandoned road, left for extinction. If you are a first timer travelling on that road in the night on board a chartered cab or public transportation, you might be thinking you have being kidnapped by ritualists heading to a dead end. Presently, with the state of the road, SUVs and other heavy duty trucks are being consumed by the road. Now that the rains have finally set in, commuting experience on that road is better imagined than experienced. The extinct road track is level up with water logged from the rains.
Distribute trade will be cut off the chains of distribution, production will be at high cost, haulage and courier service will stay off the destination, businesses can not thrive and they risk collapse, mobility and commuting will be impaired, very difficult and almost impossible. “Okada” transportation is a no go area. Water transportation system is not yet fully planned for and developed for this area. Ferries are more reliably safer than open boats which are more risky during the rains. As of today, traveling from Badagry to Agbara will take you nothing less than 3 hours, that is if the same vehicle you boarded survived the water filled wells on the collapsed road, otherwise, this short journey may see you boarding 2 to 3 vehicles.
Very disheartening is the fact that this very similar unpleasant road condition exist on all roads within the township and local communities of Badagry Town. The Local Government in Badagry and of particular interest to me is the situation and condition of local roads within the Badagry Central Local Government. I am still waiting to be convinced otherwise as to why the Badagry Central Local Government is justified or will be justified for not showing, demonstrating and exemplifying effective concern and responsibilities towards local road maintenance.
In the last three years, not one single local community road (yet to be tarred) was graded by this present administration not to talk of construction of drainages. Are the costs of these local projects (Local roads maintenance, grading of yet to be tarred access roads and drainage construction) beyond the financial capacity of this present Local Government? I can recall vividly in 2018, when my family was preparing for the burial of my grandpa, we had to contract a private vendor to grade the access road to our community after all attempts to have the Badagry Central Local Government carry out their primary responsibility failed. What shocked me the most in my discoveries was that the proposal to have all the access roads to various local communities graded is languishing on the Chairman’s table. As at today, over 70℅ of the access roads in Badagry Central Local Government are not tarred. 98℅ of all the local communities roads have no drainages and are presently water logged while all tarred road within the township are full of dangerous potholes. Sincerely speaking, most Local Governments administration are kneeing on the throat of their constituents/local communities.
The next of life and business threatening (Knee on the throat) experience is the locust beehive like population of uniform armed men plaguing the dead road. The unchecked reckless activities of these uniform men, leaves one in total confusion as to whether the recklessness of these men are the approved modus operandi or that their bosses/godfather is above the law and more powerful than the Nigerian Police Force (Taskforce)/Nigerian Government.
From Agbara to Badagry Roundabout, you may encounter between 13 to 17 Police check points, 2 to 3 Federal Road Safety Corps check points, 2 to 3 Nigerian Immigration Service check points, 4 to 5 Nigerian Custom Service check points and seldomly, 1 check point of the Lagos State Vechile Inspection (VIO) Officers. While none of these uniform men are free or can be exempted/exonerated from the allegations of victimisation, abuse of power, taking undue advantage of being in uniform, extortion, excessive/overzealousness in the discharge of their duties with total lack of Emotional Intelligence and complete lack of courtesy. The activities of men of the Nigerian Police Force is the most horrible and traumatic because of their numbers.
Generally, they demand N100 from operators of commercial vehicles without luggage, while vehicles with luggage will negotiate for “roger” above N200 and up to N1,000 and it is a must. Most commercial vehicles operators have resorted into lifting other uniform men in order to get wavier for the payment of N100. Another shocking discovery arising from the desperate determination of these Police officers to collect this N100 is the rejection of uniform men like LASTMA, Neighbourhood, Legion etc.
Worst still over a month ago, operators of commercial buses protested and demonstrated against the unwholesome activities of these men of NPF and I can recall vividly that the Area Commander of Area K Police Command in response to the protestors, promised a resolve/resolution of this issue after the Ramadan celebration but here we are, the situation remains the same. While thanking the MFHR and SA for their prompt intervention, we wish to remind you that this matter is a most resolve. Thanks.
Between Aradagun bus stop to Mowo bus stop, there are 6 check points; 4 Police check points, 1 check point each for Nigerian Customs and Federal Road Safety Corp.
For how long will these knees remain on the throat of Badagry? George Floyd could only hold on for less than 9 minutes.
This is a save our soul call for Badagry.
The Federal Government, Federal Ministry of Works and all directly or indirectly responsible for the stoppage of ongoing reconstruction of the Lagos Badagry Express road, your knee is on the throat of Badagry.
All elected and appointed political Office holders doing little or nothing as to the current problems (Stoppage of ongoing reconstruction work and multiple illegal Police post for extortion and harassment of lawful citizens)
on that road, your knee is on the throat of Badagry.
All persons in authority who directly or indirectly oppresses/is oppressing individuals or pressure groups that critique/lodges complaints and registered dissatisfaction of the neglect, insensitivity, ineffectiveness, propaganda and injustice done to or handed down the throat of the masses of Badagry and this country at large, your knee is on the throat of Badagry.
All Local Government Administration that fails to attend the local communities developmental problems, your knee is on the throat of Badagry.
Help remove these knees.