Commuters traveling along Iju Road in the Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area of Lagos state have lamented the traffic jam at Fagba Junction along the road.
A resident of Obawole, a community near the junction, Tayo Ayowale, said men from the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority were spending time subduing errant motorists and neglecting traffic control.
He said: “That crossing has been converted into an ATM for LASTMA officials. Instead of passing traffic, you will find them asking motorists for money. When they see a motorist who violated a traffic rule, they all abandon traffic duty while trying to arrest the driver.”
When our correspondent visited the crossing, he noticed six LASTMA officials fighting with the driver of a Toyota Highlander, who they say broke a traffic law.
Photos taken by our correspondent showed the moment the Toyota Highlander tried to join Iju Road by climbing over the road boundary and approaching a truck.
According to the driver, who was traveling with a woman in her 60s, a LASTMA official, whom he pointed to, told him to drive in that direction.
The unidentified driver could be heard saying: “He was the one who told me to drive that way.”
This went on for about 20 minutes as traffic at the junction was left to a man in mufti as the traffic jam degenerated.
PUNCH Metro noticed that the traffic light at the intersection was faulty.
A commercial pedicab operator, who asked not to be named, said his colleagues contributed to traffic at the junction, which they had turned into a fleet.
He advised the government to fix the traffic light at the intersection and the potholes in the road.
A resident, Tobilola Ayinla, said the behavior of motorcyclists on the highway also aggravated traffic in the area.
“Okada passengers always travel one way while traveling with two passengers. Their movement on the road scares pedestrians, ”he added.
A resident of Jonathan Coker Street, Kingsley Ajao, said a flyover at the crossing would ease traffic.
“Look Agege, the overpass there has reduced traffic. This Iju Road leads to the flyover. If the government can build a flyover for us at this junction, the traffic will be smooth,” she added.
LASTMA Public Relations Officer Adebayo Taofik said the crossing was a sensitive area, adding that officials were doing their best to ensure the free flow of traffic.
He said: “That Fagba junction is a very sensitive area and it is one of the areas that LASTMA General Manager Mr. Bolaji Oreagba is giving priority to. Our officers there are using the manual to control traffic because the traffic lights are not working. Don’t forget that some of the roads on that axis are under construction. The motorists who say that our officers do not control traffic but go after drivers who make mistakes are the ones who are obstructing and impeding the free flow of traffic along the Fagba, Iju and railway intersections. There is no way the government is going to sit back and allow their behavior.”