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The Wet Independence Day In Lagos

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ElevateNews takes a look at the 59th Independence Day Anniversary of Nigeria and how traffic forced Nigerians to celebrate in the rain.

The heavens cried on Tuesday, October 1, Nigeria’s Independence Day anniversary. I made a call from Lagos to Ile-Ife in Osun State. It was raining. The rain took over the southwest but it seemed the Eagle Square, Abuja was dry.

President Muhammadu Buhari alongside his vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo marked the day with fanfare among other personalities, including the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan and Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Of course, the governors of the 36 States joined in the celebration, only a few citizens could attend the parade due to the heavy downpour in Lagos and Ogun States.

The rain, which began at about 6am did not subside until late in the evening. It deprived the residents the opportunity to move around and enjoy the public holiday. Rain signifies blessing but it can also wreak havoc if it is too much.

While the anniversary’s dance and jubilation persisted, some residents of Ogun State became jittery due to the impending flood that could follow. This is the period that the Ogun/Osun River Basing Authority usually opens the Oyan Dams.

The residents of Magboro, Arepo, Akute could not sleep with their two eyes closed on Tuesday. On Wednesday the flood eventually crept into some homes in Magboro and Akute. It could also be seen on the long bridge.

It rained again early Wednesday and instead of jubilating, the residents wailed. In this part of the world, the roads become impassable whenever it rains. Commercial drivers hike the cost of transportation. Commuters are stranded.

It is pitiable that motorists spend two hours daily on the Lagos-Ibadan long bridge due to the repair of the Kara end of the expressway by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.

Coupled with the rain, this axis is the worst place to be at this period. Worse still, the firm has not shown any sign of urgency to repair the road.

According to the Federal Ministry of Works, the repair of the 1km portion of the road between Kara and Berger will take three months. Today makes it exactly a month that Julius Berger started this portion of the project and there is no sign that it will finish it after three months.

Most times the workers do not work due to the incessant downpour. Sometimes vehicles develop fault on the road but with no effort by the firm to remove it.

Motorists feel the pain on the road and in the rain. Thousands celebrated the 59th Independence Day anniversary on this road while it rained on Tuesday. Pupils now get to school very late due to these challenges.

There is an urgent need for government intervention. The construction firm will need to speed up its works on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway due to the heavy rain and traffic gridlock.

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