The residents of Apete and its environs in the Ido local government area of Ibadan, Oyo State have bemoaned the heavy traffic daily along the Ijokodo-Polytechnic road linking to other neighboring communities like Apete and Awotan. They recounted the challenges faced every evening along the road while returning from their respective places of work and expressed that it is a burden to think they would always encounter traffic hardships along the road no matter how hard they try to leave their respective place of work early.
It was gathered that Apete started as a small village before it grew into a large community accommodating a great number of residents with only one existing route leading to the community and other neighboring communities.
Further investigation revealed that the journey from Sango, down to Ijokodo-Polytechnic road, down to Apete is a 20-minute drive but due to the increase in the number of people residing in the community and the one-way lane, the traffic has now increased and has become unbearable.
Sarah Oluwemimo, a trader at the Polytechnic, Ibadan gave an account of her experience of heavy traffic in the area.
“My husband is a security man at Polytechnic Ibadan and we both live at Moniya. Apete is where all my children reside and I have always been stuck in traffic anytime I want to go and visit them.”
“I have been coming to Apete for decades now and this heavy traffic has always been like that. This traffic was caused because the road is one lane and very small compared to the number of people who now reside in the community.”
She also mentioned that those trading along the roads are culpable.
“The traders who sell along the road are also contributors to the cause of this traffic. They display their goods by the roadside where motorists are supposed to pass which makes the road more narrow and makes it clumsy” she narrated.
On the involvement of the government, Oluwemimo narrated, “The government came to check the road during president Jonathan’s regime in 2011 and also, the chairman of Ido local government came and they expanded the road up to this extent as it wasn’t up to this extent before. It was their Intervention then that made the road wider like this but it’s unfortunate that it’s not wide enough for the people living in these places now”
“Another alternative road that I take to surpass this traffic, is passing through the polytechnic, Ibadan. There are student buses for the polytechnic that convey people through that route in the school which makes it faster to get to Apete but presently, they are not working which is why I’m stuck in this traffic”.
She said despite the alternative buses that convey students and residents through the easy route, a lot of people still move on the main road and get stuck in the traffic because not all drivers have access to drive through the campus.
Sharing his experience, a resident of Awotan, Babalola Tobi said that encountering the traffic gridlock every day is suffering, adding that no matter how early he tried to beat the traffic, he would still get stuck in it.
“This traffic starts piling up as early as 4:30 pm and the major cause for this is because the road is narrow. Imagine the number of people living in this Apete and other communities when you move forward and the only road leading to these places is just one narrow road. It’s a big problem and the government is yet to do anything.
“The reason I found myself living here is because of work. I stayed in Abeokuta with my family and I was transferred here from work in sango. Nothing would make me build a house here, because this stress is much. The only time I can get lucky is spending less than two hours in the traffic, it’s very disheartening “.
Motorists plying the axis express grief over the heavy traffic, saying they spend hours on the road from sango before getting to Apete and other communities. Likewise, the residents who are also commuters complained bitterly about the traffic.
Rufai Mujideen, a cab driver who conveys passengers from Sango to Apete said he is fed up with living in the area.
“I live in sango with my family and I only work as a driver between the axis of sango, Ijokodo, Polytechnic, and Apete. The traffic only occurs and gets congested during the closing hours when everyone is returning to their different homes and when it gets towards 10 pm upward, it reduces and eventually, gets free. But during the hours of the traffic, it can be terrific. Those that suffer the most are the drivers (both cab and bus drivers), private car owners, and tricycle riders. Leaving it to the passengers, some of them sometimes trek when it gets tough, not considering the distance” he recounted.
It was observed that despite the number of bike riders commuting the same axis, some people still get stranded at Sango waiting for a cab and bus, and sometimes, it takes two hours before finally getting one resulting into
hike in prices of buses and cabs.
In an interview with a student of the Polytechnic, Igbalola Wonuola has a contrary experience.
“I’ve been living inside Apete for three years now and I don’t get to experience the traffic every time like every other resident, because I take a student shuttle bus, which will convey me through the campus route and drop me at a gate that is very close to Apete, with just a trek it to my destinations.” She stated.
Local Government Chairman Reacts
The chairman of Ido local government, Hon Sheriff Adeojo said what they are trying to do is to expand the road and garage so that they can put the bike riders and tricycles in their right places.
He said, “It’s not going to be a day job and we are working very tirelessly on it. Also, people are giving us some issues, some are complaining about the insertion and that they don’t want the expansion”.
“We’re doing our best to do it. We have contacted the police, and the NSPCC, and we have called out the Oyo State Road Traffic Management Authority (OYRTMA) to help us curb the traffic. That’s all we’ve done so far but we’re still going to do more. The expansion will come up soon and that will reduce the traffic there” he added.