World Cup Qualifier Match: Lagos State Government Plan To Divert Traffic at Stadium
In preparation for the forthcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifying Match between Nigeria vs the Central African Republic on Thursday, 7th October 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium by 5:00 pm, the Lagos State Government will divert traffic leaving and coming into Surulere at the Stadium axis.
A statement signed by the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, revealed that vehicles will be barred from accessing Surulere from Teslim Balogun Stadium axis from 12:00 noon. This include the Service Lane inbound the National Stadium from Alaka and Teslim Balogun Stadium from Ojuelegba.
He said the Lagos motorists heading towards Costain and Lagos Island from Alhaji Masha and Surulere are advised to use Adeniran Ogunsanya or Bode Thomas to link Iponri or Eric Moore to access their destinations or utilize Adelabu to connect Babs Animashaun/Eric Moore axis to link Brewery and access Costain or Eko Bridge.
In the same vein, Oladeinde stated that motorists can use the above mentioned roads to access Surulere from Lagos Island. Imploring vehicle owners heading towards Ikorodu Road from Surulere to make use of Akerele to link Ogunlana Drive inwards Itire road and connect Ojuelegba to their destinations.
The Commissioner assured that the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Security Agencies will ensure seamless traffic flow. Stressing that the cooperation of the Surulere community and all road users plying the affected axis is vital to ease the flow of traffic.
Recall that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had proposed to stage three Super Eagles World Cup Home Qualifying Matches in Lagos State. The first in the series took place on Friday, 3rd September 2021, between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Lone Stars of Liberia.
I Suspect That These Are The Reasons For The Traffic Diversion
1) The road in front of the stadium was closed when Nigeria hosted the Under 17 World Cup in 2009. All vehicles had to take the bridge, invited guests with cars had to park at the National Stadium car park and fans were given the option of coming to the stadium in BRT buses.
At the time they said that the measures were put in place for security reasons (some Niger-Delta militants had threatened to attack the venues of the tournament) and to control traffic. Anyone that went anywhere near the stadium was thoroughly searched and there were long queues of people waiting to be searched. Since then the road right in front of the stadium is usually closed when there are major matches like this.
2) Special measures were put in place for the last game that the Super Eagles played at that stadium. The number of spectators was limited due to Covid-19 protocols. Only invited guests and a few fans that won an online lottery were allowed into the stadium. Someone that attended the match told me that there was a huge crowd outside the stadium. People that didn’t have tickets and were not invited wanted to enter the stadium.
I reckon that they want to make the area a no go area for people that do not have an invitation. They are not even selling tickets this time and there’s no online lottery.
However, I believe it would have been better if this match was played on a Saturday, because this will create serious problems for people who are going home from work.