By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta
Residents of Ala-Omu, Odogbolu local government area of Ogun State, have appealed to the Ogun State government to attend to the deplorable condition of the Ala-Omu – Ijebu-Ode road.
The residents, speaking on the platform of Human Rights on Environmental Awareness, spoke during an on the spot assessment of the road by select journalists.
The condition of the road, the NGO said, is giving residents sleepless nights because it is no longer motorable. Residents said successive governments have neglected the road, which is the only one that leads to the community, since it was constructed by then Premier of Western region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Most of the residents of the town said the road has turned to death trap, stating that motorists from Ijebu-Ode and other towns are refusing to transport passengers who want to visit the town due to the bad state of the road.
A community leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the road was the one leading to the Tai Solarin College of Education and Grace Polytechnic, which has been producing great teachers for the state and the country as a whole.
His words: “It is good to even walk bare footed than to ply this road with vehicles. From Ala to Omu, there is no single place that is motorable. There are so many pot holes. On this same road, we have so many schools, including the Tai Solanrin College of Education and the Grace Polytechnic, among others.
“There are so many wealthy parents from all over the country sending their wards to Tai Solarin College of Education, yet nothing has been done to this road. If someone is sick and they have to rush the person to the hospital, there is a possibility that the person will die before getting to the hospital because of the bad condition of the road. And this is one of the reasons the population of the schools around here are affected”.
The residents pointed out that since commercial motorists have stopped plying the road, the only mode of transportation are the tricycles. They added that even with that, they continue to record crashes on daily basis because of the deplorable condition of the road.
“The current road is the one done by the then Premier of Western region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. We have been hearing millions of naira being allocated yet it has all been embezzled, without anything to show for it’, another resident said.
“The Ejirin road is where the first Port Authority was located and the popular market there should not be allowed to go into extinction. This road is now a death trap. Everyday, trailers, commercial cabs and others collapse here. There is no single taxi plying this road from Ijebu-ode”.
Another resident said, “We cannot pass the whole blame on this present administration because it inherited the road from previous ones. The Prince Dapo Abiodun administration in Ogun State has been doing a lot in road construction and so I believe very soon, the government will come to this road.
“It is our hope that the current government will do something soon about the road. I believe that the Governor is a listening person. Even if the road cannot be fully constructed for now, they can assist in some palliative works so that the road can be motorable before the major reconstruction work”.