The gridlock along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway continued on Saturday as commuters lamented the situation which left them stranded in the early hours of the day.
Road users have for the past four days been enduring the gridlock caused by ongoing construction of the dual-carriage way which narrowed the multiple lanes to one on both sides at the Mountain of Fire Ministry end as well as the Asese and Ibafo axis of the road.
Commuters accessing the road from the Lagos end were mainly affected as the drive towards the Ibadan axis took at least two hours to cover a distance of about 10 kilometres.
The impatience of some motorists, especially, commercial bus operators, driving against traffic, worsened the situation, forcing passengers to trek several kilometres.
Officials of the Ogun State command of the Federal Road Safety Corps had hectic time turning back errant drivers who drove against traffic.
Commercial motorcyclists made brisk businesses as the fare from Berger Bus Stop to Ibafo was increased to N1,000 as against N300.
Our correspondent, who monitored the situation on Saturday from the Magboro end of the expressway, observed that the gridlock was compounded by impatience of motorists who scampered to align to the narrow single lane around the MFM axis.
An Ibadan-bound commercial bus driver, Mr Dele Ali, said he had to cut down on the number of trips he could make on the route.
Ali blamed the Federal Government and the construction firms for the delay in completing the ongoing upgrade of the road, adding that commuters were suffering.
He said, “This gridlock on the expressway had been on and off in the last four years. Unfortunately, there are times that it gets worse and during such periods.”
A poultry farmer, who was conveying chickens and turkeys from Lagos to Ijebu-Ode, Mr Obinna Nwagboso, had a bad experience as not less than 15 birds died while in the gridlock for two hours on Saturday.
“I do not know who to hold accountable for this, but I never saw it coming. The birds are just dying due to the hot weather. This is a huge loss because the turkeys are sold for between N15,000 and N25,000,” he lamented.
When contacted, the Ogun State Sector Commander of the FRSC, Mr Clement Oladele, cautioned vehicles owners against violating traffic rules, adding that any person arrested would have their vehicle impounded.
He said the ideal situation was for the construction companies to provide alternative routes as practised in other climes, but in the absence of that, commuters plying the Lagos-Ibadan expressway should exercise patience in navigating the gridlock.
In a related development, truckers have continued to decry traumatic experiences from the lingering gridlock on Lagos ports access roads.
Truckers, a vital component of the logistics supply chain, on Saturday appealed to the government to address the situation to save their lives and their means of livelihood.
The haulage operators under the aegis of Containerised Truck Owners told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that they were being extorted by security agencies while truck drivers were subjected to inhuman conditions.