Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday handed over the 2.68km Alaba/Cemetery road in the Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government , urging residents of the area not to convert the walkways to stalls in order to ensure the safety of school children.
In fulfillment of his electioneering promise and further demonstration that the present administration is spreading development round, the Governor who spoke before a very large gathering of happy local leaders, party officials and residents before unveiling the plaque at the event which took place at the Alaba/Cemetery road added that when the children are going to school, the walkways should be their natural route.
“If you convert it to stalls, where do you expect them to pass through? Don’t indirectly push your kids on to the roads where they will have to contend with vehicles in using the roads. I also schooled in Lagos and was very safe in passing the pedestrian walkway to and fro school”, he added.
Describing the new road as a collective asset, the Governor explained that just as there are several tax payers who are vehicle owners there are also many who do not own cars and have every right to use the roads like those who own cars, adding that the pedestrian walkways is the road for those who do not own cars.
He added that the completion of the Alaba/Cemetery Road is in continuation of his promise that over 200 inner city roads were in various stages of completion in the state, adding that the administration just handed over some roads in Mushin, Ikeja and Badagry respectively a few weeks ago.
Giving an insight into government’s experience in the course of the project, Governor Fashola described the Alaba/ Cemetery Road as a very difficult road to construct because the whole road was a refuse in itself and the contractors had to dig over 1.5m of the dirt to excavate refuse before totally replacing it with fresh soil.
Calling for a more caring attitude to the usage of such public infrastructure, the Governor declared: “This road was built with your taxes and I hope that you will not turn it into a refuse dump again. We have provided all the road signs and it is your responsibility now to look after it. You have asked for your rights that we provide infrastructure for you and we have delivered as your government. You now have the bigger responsibility to look after this bigger asset as a common asset built by our commonwealth”.
“The community as a whole has a responsibility to protect these street lights, don’t come and cut the wires and say you are doing copper business and go and sell it. Don’t get angry with yourselves and go and say you are damaging government property, it is not government property. It is your money. So when you damage it, we will come back and tax you again and build. So there is nothing like government property, it does not belong to Fashola, it belongs to all of us”, the Governor added.
Governor Fashola also urged those who drive on the road to drive carefully and safely and resist the temptation to over speed because the road is now good, as that represents a responsibility which the residents have adding that the right to a road brings on the responsibility to drive safely so that they can prevent and protect injury to other road users.
“Sometimes ago when we came here, this road was one of the things you pointed to that you wanted us to give attention to and we asked you to go and vote and after voting, we also asked you to pay your taxes and you complied. This road has been made possible by your tax and your sweat. So anybody who has not paid his tax should go do so”, he added.
Fashola also urged all residents of the State who have not registered under the State Residents Registration exercise to go and do so in their own interest, adding that the State would soon commence a housing project whose houses are almost ready, emphasizing that only residents of Lagos will get the houses because it was only the residents who paid the taxes that built them.
“If don’t live here, you are not entitled to our house and other services that we use the taxes of the residents of Lagos to build, residents of Lagos will get priority of service if they can show that they actually live here”, he reiterated.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat said the Alaba/ Cemetery Road was built to drain the community and that is why at Bakare Fari street, there is a provision of a very big culvert to allow the community to be drained and keep the road in very good shape.
He also urged all motorists plying the new road which is fitted with street lights to always observe speed limits.
The event was witnessed by members of the State Executive Council including the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Ganiyu Johnson, the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon Kolawole Taiwo and the Chairmen of Ajeromi- Ifelodun Local Government, Hon Kamal Baiyewu and Ifelodun Local Council Development Area, Hon Shuaibu Ajidagba among several other guests.