Why Lagos Residents Are Still In Pains A Week After Rail Derailment
It is over five days since a train derailed at Mangoro area of Lagos State, but some residents are still feeling the pains that the derailment had brought.
"We did not cause the derailment, but we are the ones bearing the pains. We pay more fare to get to work and spend more time on the road before we get to the office.
"At the end of the day, our salary will be deducted for not coming early," one resident told Bounce News on Monday during the early morning rush.
Lagos is a very busy state and the morning rush to get to work is an evidence of how much people try to make ends meet.
Going to work has not been the same for workers since the train derailed, as a result of poor maintenance of the rail track.
I have resorted to going to work with auto rickshaw, popularly called Keke, since I noticed it would take me just less than an hour to get to work from where I live, very close to Abule Egba area.
I had arrived at the Abule Egba Keke park at about 7:05 a.m. local time on Monday, hoping to find a Keke as usual, but was shocked by the queue I saw.
It was like a line of persons waiting to cast their vote on an unusual election day.
Several of them had spent over 30 minutes waiting.
The usual fare to Ikeja from Abule Egba was 250 Naira, but the Keke riders were not even ready to take 300 Naira to embark on the journey.
Passengers were ready to pay, but the Keke riders were not prepared for the tedious journey.
It was the first time I saw Keke riders reject money and go for a smaller amount even though it was for a shorter distance.
Suddenly, every Keke rider that came to the park insisted that their journey would end at Capitol Road just very close to Railway Crossing at Mangoro where the train derailed.
It was their usual route to connect Guinness Road and then link Ikeja, but passengers will have to bear the brunt.
The cost to get there was 200 Naira and getting another Keke from that place to Ikeja was another long queue that they would have to endure. There was also raise in the fare since more passengers are waiting.
On our way to the location, the passengers lamented and cursed those in governance, wondering why it was taking so long to fix few metres of bad rail.
Why So Long A Time?
"They want to spend time on the repairs so that people will know that the Railway Corporation is working and so they could quote a big amount of money as cost of repairs," one of the passengers that sat in the Keke with me said.
The journey was not a palatable one even though the Keke had to manoeuvre between vehicles in traffic to ensure he got to the drop-off zone and return to Abule Egba fast.
At the Railway Crossing, everyone came down and those willing to wait further and be late to work joined another queue to Ikeja while others took another Keke to Guinness where they will take another Keke to Ikeja.
What used to be a journey with just a Keke became a journey of three Keke rides.
Most of the commuters lamented that the journey would weary them and leave them less productive at the office.
But a genuine question they asked was why it was taking so long to fix the track and open the road for vehicles to use.
Also Road: New “Game of Thrones” Teaser Is Chilly
The Keke rider, at some point on our journey, blamed heavy duty vehicles for the pains the residents were going through.
"The Railway Crossing is not for vehicles with more than 4 tyres, but you will find trailer carrying caterpillar go through the track," he said, emphasising the role of lawlessness and corruption in the pains that residents now feel.
Very close to the Railway Crossing is a police post that is usually occupied by police wardens who control traffic and officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency who also ensure that vehicles are orderly, but they have not paid so much attention to what vehicles are crossing the rail line.
While will the Corporation wait till the track is totally bad before fixing it?
Some of the officials at the place working who do not want their names mentioned said there were some other repairs on the road that needed to be concluded before the road would be open to vehicles again.
There was no time set for the opening of the road that is a major link between Ikeja and Mangoro.
If you enjoyed reading this and our other stories, please, share with friends and loved ones.