Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (3rd left) unveiling the plaque to officially commission the rehabilitated Yaya Abatan Road Phase I & II in Ifako Ijaye Local Government as part of activities to mark the Annual Democracy Day celebration in Lagos on Thursday, May 29, 2014. With him are: Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat (left), Chairman, Ifako/Ijaye Local Government Council, Mr. Oloruntoba Oke (2nd left), Member, Lagos House of Assembly, Hon. Oludayo Fafunmi Saka and the Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure to the Governor, Engr. Ganiyu Johnson (right).
Keeping faith with his tradition of delivering more dividends to the people on every Democracy Day, Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Thursday, 29th May, 2014, marked his seventh year in office by handing over the upgraded and rehabilitated 2.9 kilometres Yaya Abatan Road, with an assertion that for him, Democracy Day is simply service to the people.
The Governor who spoke at Yaya Abatan Road before unveiling the plaque of the new road added that the administration uses every May 29 to hand over a landmark in the State, adding that last year it was the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge and two years ago, it was the Traffic Radio that was handed over.
He explained that on the occasion of his seventh year in office, he is handing over a project through which the state government would democratize access to qualitative transport infrastructure.
According to the Governor, the construction of the road was in furtherance of the recognition by the state that transportation defines the civilization of people and how easily people get to their places of work as well as how their children commute to school.
Fashola also stated that the Yaya Abatan Road which is 2.9kilometres main road with seven connecting inner city roads to him represents the value and meaning of Democracy Day.
He cautioned the residents against turning the walkways into trading places, stating that while the main road serves motorists, the walkway is meant for pedestrians who also have a right to use the road.
He explained that when the walkways is turned into markets, school children that should ordinarily have made use of it are forced unto the main road and run the risk of being run over by vehicles.
Urging the residents to take ownership of the road, the Governor advised against dumping of refuse into the drains, saying that the people owe it a duty to protect the drains by ensuring that they clean it themselves to make it free flowing and said under no circumstance must the road be cut as cable ducts have already been provided on the roads.
Fashola thanked all tax payers in the state for paying their taxes regularly adding that if they had not been paying the taxes, the State Government might have been waiting for funds from the Federal Government to deliver the project.
He also commended the state House of Assembly for passing the Appropriation Law that enabled the administration to budget for the project and commended Hon Saka Fafunmi for his tenacity on the commencement of the project in his constituency.
The Governor reminded the people that it is not the responsibility of members of the legislative arm of Government to build roads, hospitals, drains and other infrastructure for the people but dedicated representatives like Hon Fafunmi owe it a duty to bring the need for such projects in their constituency to the notice of the Executive arm.
While reacting to insinuations by some critics that the administration is elitist, the Governor noted that the disconnected critics have not taken time to come to an area like Ifako- Ijaiye Local Government.
“They claim that we are elitist. The same contractors that are working in Victoria Island is the one working here and also working in places like Ikorodu. You deserve qualitative service at all times. I am proud to serve you. If the people of Ifako- Ijaiye are classified as elites, then I am ready to serve them”, he added.
The Governor described the ruling party at the centre as an amateurish party that has simply run out of ideas, adding that if the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Government in Lagos is accused of serving the elites, then the ruling party at the centre should at least try and serve somebody.
He also appealed to landlords in the area not to increase rents unreasonably because the new road has brought about an improvement in real estate value, warning that such increase would ultimately be transferred to the ordinary people who have one business or the other to do with people who are affected by such rent increment.
Speaking earlier, the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat said the Yaya Abatan road was conceived under the Strategic Inner Road Development Programme which identifies critical high volume traffic bearing roads for upgrade and reconstruction.
He said Yaya Abatan is one of such roads as it links Ogba- Ijaiye with Iju Road adding that there are several connecting roads linked to it like Oyemekun Street, Kayode Street, College Road extension and Haruna Street.
Dr Hamzat explained that in the process of reconstruction, over 1,000 jobs were created either directly or as a result of the project, adding that the road itself will be of immense benefit as it will impact on property value as well as reduce travel time.
In his message of goodwill, the member of the State House of Assembly representing Ifako- Ijaiye I, Hon Saka Fafunmi commended Governor Babatunde Fashola for a promise made and well delivered to the people of Ifako Ijaiye.
He said with the successful completion of the road, the value of property in the area has increased just as the issue of flooding has become a thing of the past for residents of the community.
The Governor later formally handed over the road before driving through at the event which had in attendance members of the State Executive Council including the state Commissioners for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs Florence Oguntuashe, Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Ben Akabueze, Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Ganiyu Johnson and Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Raji and several residents of the area.