Edo is not Lagos became a slogan in the last governorship election held 19th September 2020 even though we move from Edo to Lagos State in droves daily in search for better life.
Definitely, Edo can’t be Lagos but should Edo work hard in infrastructure, maybe someday, it might be like Lagos.
The question now is, is Badagry Lagos?
It took me a journey from Lagos to Badagry and subsequently from Badagry to through Agbara Industrial Layout to Ota via Igbesa both in Ogun State to realise that Badagry is no longer Lagos or Nigeria; in fact, the deplorable roads in Aba and some many other parts of the country are child’s play compared to the state of the Okokomaiko to Badagry road.
A pregnant woman will surely have a miscarriage if she dare travels on that road and no matter how good your car is, it can’t last three trips consecutively in that road – I can bet you.
Mind you, the first storey building in Nigeria is built in Badagry in the year 1845 as the mission house for slave masters with a holding place for slaves also.
The town ordinarily is a historic one with the federal presence in the Nigeria French Language Village, Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) and also used to boast many tourist attractions with individuals who are eager to reconnect with the slave trade history – from the slave parts, chains, to the Point of No Return and then the relics of that inhumane torture in human journey called slave trade; one really needs to see these to understand what Africans went through in the hands of slave masters.
But more than 100 years after with the slave masters gone though but our leaders have wore their clogs and are still torturing us in disguise of public infrastructure, inhumanity and public stealing.
Apart from the historic museum in Badagry, the town is also the gateway into Nigeria from the West African subregion.
While the Benin Republic side of the road is motorable with proper security arrangements in place, ours is hell on earth with several checkpoints harassing motorists for contraband goods and the usual egunjes; “pull over, park, oga your boys are here are here” you hear from the police on the road.
Today, tourists have deserted Badagry sites as a journey on the 60 kilometres Okokomaiko to Badagry road is like the biblical camel passing through the eye of the needle and the journey usually last between 5 – 6 hours. What will it take to fix this road within a year if I may ask, who curse us like this?
Even the indigenes and residents of this area have cried their voice out calling on government to fulfil their promises to them even though they pay taxes.
Lagos State Government is responsible for the Iganmu to Okokomaiko sections of the highway and awarded the contract for the rehabilitation since 2008 (that’s about 12 year ago) while the Federal Government is handling the Okokomaiko – Agbara and Badagry axis of the road and it costs them ₦63.02 billion that was awarded in 2019 yet the contractors are no where to be found apart from their signposts on that road or maybe they have forgotten that Badagry is still part of Lagos! Yet this same Federal Government still approved the humongous sum of $1.9 billion for the construction of a rail line that will link Kano, Dutse, Katsina to Jibia in Nigeria to Maradi in Niger Republic, and this government will quarrel when people complain.
Babatunde Hunpe is the member representing Badagry Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives while Solomon Adeola is the senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District – one wonders what type of representation they are giving at the National Assembly when the busiest road in their constituency is not motorable.
Also, what is the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu doing to alleviate the suffering of not just the Lagos State workers that has been posted to work in Badagry but the teeming population living in that area, àbí Badagry no be Lagos again make I ask?
I will therefore advocate that the Lagos State Government should not wait until there is a governor who is an indigene of Badagry to fix the road just like Epe had to wait for Akinwunmi Ambode who is an indigene to fix the road in Epe.
Lagos State should also understand that the more infrastructure they build in this area, the more likely they are able to decongest the housing needs in Lekki and Ajah as well as the city centres and people will move to these areas.
The Federal Government should understand that they intentionally created this division and segregation among the masses in the country when they fast track roads and rail projecs in the northern part of the country while abandoning the ones in the South and that no matter how many times that they amend the Companies Allied Acts for the ease of doing business then beautify Abuja, if the gateway to the Southern part of the country from the Western part of the subregion is not motorable, the country will always be seen by global businessmen as unconducive for doing business.
Historic sites are a source of wealth in most countries so let’s utilise ours, Wake Up Nigeria, wake up.
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