Oshodi: Sliding Back Into Its Ugly Past


It is disheartening and even preposterous that after so much effort and money was spent to transform the once dreaded Oshodi market and motor park into a nirvana of Lagos, the place is gradually returning to its  notorious ugly past.

The shanties at the dangerous and congested Oshodi market and motor park were demolished on Sunday 4 January 2009 by the Lagos State Government to allow free movement of vehicles and persons, ensure safety of lives and end the bedlam and the reign of thugs and other dangerous criminals who had taken over the place for many years.

Although many ordinary people were affected by the exercise, Nigerians all over the country who once visited the place, gave kudos to Governor Babatunde Fashola for ending the Oshodi madness. But all that is gradually becoming a thing of the past.

Daily, illegal traders are returning, commuter bus drivers have again begun to park, load and drop off passengers right in the middle of the highway and on top of the bridge as was the case before the January 4, 2009 cleansing exercise.

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Traffic gridlock and the old confusion is setting in again. The police, LASTMA and other government agencies deployed to the area  to maintain law and order look the other way as the situation degenerates.

The development constitutes an environmental nuisance and  obstructs the ongoing Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) scheme as well as prevent Lagos Waste Management Authority, LAWMA’s trucks from effective evacuation of refuse from the area.

Apart from the illegal parks created by some drivers, the fence that demarcated the area that prevented pedestrians from crossing the highway and rail line, has now been pulled down and passengers are picked directly instead of using the pedestrian bridge.

We believe that urgent action must be taken by the government to stop this ugly situation from degenerate further. We must move forward instead of going backward. The huge money and effort deployed to salvage Oshodi from the filth, lawlesssness, confusion and reign of thugs must not be allowed to go down the drain. Governor Babatunde Fashola must act fast to arrest the drift of Oshodi to its ugly past.

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