WHEN he closed from work at about 8.30 p.m. on Wednesday, Kehinde Jacob hoped he would get to his Ailegun Street, Ejigbo home, barely 12 kilometres from his office in the Isolo area of the Lagos mainland, early enough. But he was wrong, because three hours after, he was still trapped in the traffic jam that clogged every street and road in Isolo.
The rain that started later that evening conspired with ongoing road repairs between Jakande Gate Isolo and NNPC Bus Stop to cause a gridlock that clogged every street and road in Isolo, through to Oke Afa and backwards to Cele Egbe Bridge.
In fact, Jacob had to leave his car in the premises of a hospital in Isolo and hire a commercial motorcyclist to take him home.
Motorists on many routes in the metropolis, Ikeja, including Awolowo Way Ikeja, Egbeda, and along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway were trapped in the gridlock worsened by flood.
On Agege Motor Road, the rain so worsened the traffic situation that many commuters alighted from the buses they had paid for and opted to walk part of the way, hopefully to where there would be less flood and freer movement of vehicles.
Lamenting as he trekked homewards around 11.00p.m., Mr. Ola Smart told The Guardian: “I have been walking from Pen Cinema in Agege. Commercial motorcyclists are almost unavailable while those that are charge too exorbitantly.
Notorious flood-prone areas of Abule Egba were impassable as a result, of which a traffic jam ensued.
Buses from Oshodi to Tollgate charged as much as N400 from the usual N150.00 while motorcyclists asked for N1000.00 instead of N350.00. Probably because there was really not much of a sign it would rain, many Lagosians were caught off-guard as a result of which they suffered huge losses.
In addition to the traffic jam on some routes like Isolo- Oke Afa-Ejigbo Road, Ago Palace Way and Okota Road in Okota, there was massive flooding in areas like Oshodi, Agege, Ikotun, Mushin, Isolo, Ikeja, Ijora among others.
Several houses on Ayodele Street, Oshodi being flooded, a wall collapsed at about 10,55 when the rain was at it heaviest in the area.
Some residents in Egbeda and Agege could not go out early yesterday as they spent time, trying to dry heir flooded homes and shops. Among those who would not forget Wednesday’ night’s rain too soon are residents of Bola Ayeni, Egbatedo, Igbayilola Streets among others in Agege.
Several hundreds of them, especially those living in bungalows or downstairs were displaced and are now squatting with relations and friends who were luckier.
The massive flood coming from Papa through Orile-Agege, Agbotikuyo and Oke-ona took over many streets within Ayeni axis and submerged large stretch of the area around Funmilayo Bus Stop along Iyana Ipaja – Agege motor road.
The Lagos State Ministry of the Environment had repeatedly warned that the rains would be heavy this year, even as it urged them to be safety-conscious and “take measures to ensure that the drains are not clogged with refuse so as to limit the effects of flooding.”