There are growing concerns over the closure of street gates by Community Development Associations (CDAs) in parts of the Lagos metropolis.
In many cases, lives have been lost because rescuers are denied access to streets even in emergency situations because the gates are locked.
Also, motorists intending to avoid perennial traffic on Lagos roads are denied access to alternative routes through nearby streets because the streets are gated.
Although security reasons have been adduced for gates and their closures, many residents believe that valuable times are lost especially during emergencies to get custodians of the gate keys to unlock them at night.
A resident at Ire-Akari estate, Isolo, Monday Ebogu, lamented how he almost lost his wife when she was in labour because the street at Okeho Street, Isolo was locked and he could not easily reach out to the CDA leaders, who were reluctant to come out with the key.
According to him, it was about 1:00 a.m. on that fateful day and his wife was in labour and he decided to take her to the nearby Isolo General Hospital for attention.
Ebogu said when he reached the gate, calls were put through to the custodian of the key, who first wasted about 30 minutes to pick his calls, and another 15 minutes to interrogate him.
“ I tried other streets which were also locked and we spent about an hour before the gate was finally opened. In a medical situation one hour means a lot and we thank God that we did not stay any longer, it would have been a different story,” he said.
Ebogu is not alone. A staff member of a publishing house in Isolo also shared his ugly experience on his way home from the office around 9:00 p.m.
He told The Guardian that he took Ire-akari road, to avoid traffic on Mushin Road, Isolo, but could not access Ago road through Godwin Omonua St, because a big gate was mounted on the street.
The worker, who resides around Jakande Estate gate, had to make a detour towards St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Isolo.
The Guardian learnt that the gate is often closed to motorists even during daytime.
Some residents of Ashipa Ayobo have also lamented the closure of some street gates by Community Development Association (CDA) leaders.
A resident at Idera Estate, Mrs. Funke Adeleye said she is partially affected by the closure of the street gate.
She said:” We don’t have a security gate in my street but to go to other streets, you need to check your time, though it is for security purposes it will be better if they can extend the time till 12:00 p.m.”
Another resident at Adaranigbagbo Street, who pleaded anonymity said the gate linking Adaranigbagbo and Ogba-Eja is usually locked at 9:00 p.m., which makes it difficult for residents to come in.
He said: “Coming back from work or to get things at Babatunde Adeyanju Street is usually difficult because CDA leaders at Ogba-Eja have totally locked the gate that links two streets.”
The situation is not different at Orilowo, Ejigbo as most streets in the area are gated.
Motorists, who want to use streets to avoid connecting Ejigbo Road are prevented from doing so because most of them are gated.
Residents said the attitude of residents is at variance with the Lagos State directive that streets should be open so that responders could easily have access to them on time in case of emergency.
According to them, locked gates in several streets are causing inconveniences to residents. (Guardian)