The 127.6-kilometre-long expressway connecting Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State and Lagos State, popularly referred to as “Lagos-Ibadan expressway”, is the oldest and remains one of the busiest inter-state routes in West Africa. As major traffic artery, it has certainly hosted its share of accidents over the years. So many factors are being blamed for the incessant accident and killings experienced on the road.
Zonal Commanding Officer, FRSC, Zone 2, Nseobong Akpabio (June, 2016)
“Indiscipline is the major cause of the accidents. For instance, between the Ogunmakin and Ogere end of the expressway, drivers speed because construction work had been concluded and the road is smooth. The same is applicable between the Mowe and Sagamu end of the road.
There are also some failed portions in some parts. If any vehicle runs into some of the bad portions at full speed, it would veer off the road and the vehicle would end up in the bush. We wrote a report on the various failed portions on the expressway and that informed the ongoing construction works which will cover several kilometers.
However, we noticed that where there is a diversion on the road due to the ongoing-construction works; drivers tend to be involved in dangerous overtaking. They turn the road to a race track. Many times, we noticed that the head-on collisions were caused by poor judgments on the part of the drivers.”
Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Agency (TRACE), Ogun State, Record, June 22, 2016
“From the data we have, 10 people died in each month of January, April and June, while there were three deaths in February, six in March and five in May, making a total of 44 deaths.
While 35 of the crashes were caused by speeding, 20 were due to dangerous driving and 13 caused by bad tyres; nine cases were caused by those driving against the traffic and 14 were caused by other reasons.
We usually engage in public enlightenment on how road users should conduct themselves. Also, there are illegal routes being plied by some motorists. We usually discourage that, so that accidents could be minimal. We have a training school for offending drivers, where they are taught to be responsible. The school runs every day.”
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola
“The Lagos-Ibadan road as you know is now the subject of a court case. Injunctions have been obtained to stop the arrangement put in by the last administration to finance the road with the private sector. In addition, an injunction was granted by a court in Nigeria saying that nobody should raise money or finance the development of the road. Thankfully, there’s no injunction against the government building its road yet, and I hope there will be none. So, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is part of what we put in the budget this year.
However, I got a message from one of the lawyers suggesting to me that the action had been dismissed. So, these are some of the problems that we see, when people write and get court orders to stop development. At the end of the day, in a contract, the main remedy that the law recognises is damages for breach of contract; of course, you know I am a lawyer. But why should the developmental process of Nigeria and the lives of Nigerians be held in abeyance because you are in court?
Yinka Dada, an eyewitness who was on his way to Lagos narrates an incident along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway where about 17-30 people died. (January 7th, 2016)
“I saw everything. I was by the roadside when the accident occurred. I was with my son who was going to Lagos when I saw two vehicles speeding as if they were competing in a race. The other vehicle was able to control the wheel, while the driver of the trailer lost control, tumbled down the expressway, and spilled out the passengers one after another.”