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Why we don’t like using pedestrian bridges – Lagos residents

The Lagos State Government is renewing enforcement on the use of footbridges following pedestrians’ apathy, Daily Trust on Sunday reports.   In most parts of…

The Lagos State Government is renewing enforcement on the use of footbridges following pedestrians’ apathy, Daily Trust on Sunday reports.


In most parts of Lagos State, multibillion naira footbridges constructed by successive administrations are not being optimally put to use by pedestrians, most especially at night.

To this end, the state government is intensifying efforts to at least reduce the number of pedestrians crossing the highways in different parts of the state. Authorities are to force residents to comply with the provisions of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Management Law on the use of pedestrian bridges.

Stating the level of compliance of the use of bridges in the state, the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resource, Tokunbo Wahab, at a recent ministerial press briefing, disclosed that the operatives of the state Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), popularly knowns as KAI, arrested 1,032 persons for crossing highways without using pedestrian bridges in the last 12 months.

The figure disclosed by the commissioner captures defaulters during the day.

Findings by Daily Trust on Sunday showed that the compliance level is high during the day, while pedestrians throw compliance to the wind during the night, blaming the absence of light, which makes the bridges deathtraps.

Narrating his ordeal, David Akpan lamented that he fell into the hand of two men who forcefully dispossessed him of his belonging when he was instructed by a KAI official to use the footbridge at night.

“It was around 8pm when I was coming from Obalende to Ojota and the vehicle stopped after the bridge. I saw that KAI officials had held some people, so one of them advised that I make use of the footbridge. While climbing the stairs, I discovered that I was the only one. I saw two people up the bridge and thought they were pedestrians like me until they cornered me in between. At that time, I was almost in the middle of the bridge.

“One of them was speaking Yoruba, so I did not understand what he was saying. I was just like ‘excuse me, let me pass.’ One of them said, ‘This one is forming English for them.’ The other person slapped me and spoke in Pidgin that I should respect myself and bring my phone. After they collected my phone they quickly separated and ran in opposite directions of the bridge. In that shock I had to go back to meet the KAI official but did not see any of them,” he narrated.

He said the incident discouraged him from using footbridges.

“I have passed through that area after the incident, but I won’t lie to you, I have not crossed the bridge, I have been crossing the normal road. I told myself that no matter what they say, I will cross the road. There was one afternoon last week when I encountered one of the KAI officials who said he would arrest me, but I said he should do his worst but I would not make use of the footbridge,” he said.

Akpan’s incident mirrors nocturnal clandestine operations on Lagos bridges, which force pedestrians to avoid them. Some of the identified no-go areas at night include Ojota, Berger and Charlie Boy.

Provide light at night, pedestrians beg Lagos Government

Pedestrians who spoke with Daily Trust on Sunday said there was the need for the Lagos State Government to provide electricity on various footbridges across the metropolis to avoid attacks by hoodlums.

Motunrayo Shobowale, who harped on the importance of crossing highways through footbridges, said doing otherwise was dangerous. She urged the state government to restore light to Ojota bridge.

“Using the footbridge is very important for safety because of the speed of vehicles on the highway. Some of the drivers do not focus; they are distracted by many things. I urge everyone to use them for their safety.

“I plead with the state government to provide electricity on this bridge because there are some boys that rob because the place is dark. We need them to fix the light and provide security for us,” she said.

Ambrose Adegbesan said crossing the highways without using footbridges amounted to disobedience to the law, adding that there was the need to enforce compliance.

“I will advise defaulters to start using the bridges. The state government does not need to put KAI officials on the road because the bridges are for our safety,” he said.

He, however, affirmed criminal activities on various bridges and called on the state government to flood them with lights.

“It is true that at night, hooligans can do and undo. There used to be light on Ojota footbridge, but I don’t know why it is not working. I want the government to illuminate the place so that it would be difficult for the bad boys to rob at night,” she said.

We have cleared miscreants from the bridges –  KAI marshal

The commandant of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), Major Olaniyi Olatunbosun Cole (retd), in an interviewed with our correspondent, said the agency had cleared miscreants from bridges. He, however, admitted that there might be few remaining.

“Most of them don’t tell you the truth, we have cleared all the bridges in Lagos from miscreants, but normally, there might still be one or two bad things here and there. We have already done our best,” he said.

He, however, added that level of compliance by pedestrians was improving.

“I believe that with time, it will get better. Normally, we don’t arrest unless they are adamant; we just tell them to go back. The Lagos State Government is doing a lot of sensitisation on people’s safety,” he said.

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