The residents of Igbesa, a community in Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, have decried the difficulties they face daily due to the deplorable condition of the main access road, Igbesa-Lusada Road, in the community.
Igbesa is home to thousands of people, including students of the Ogun State Institute of Technology, OGITECH, which the community hosts. However, the presence of a tertiary institution in the community is apparently not enough for the government to rehabilitate the road to facilitate ease of mobility for residents and visitors.
Ismail Bajide, a resident, who spoke with our correspondent, blamed the condition of the road for several fatal accidents that has claimed lives, including students.
“Accidents occur frequently here,” Mr Bajide said. “Many of the residents are scared, most especially when it rains. It is disheartening that the government watches this road in this total collapse.”
He said: “It has affected many businesses and caused a lot of pain to people living here. I have been here for the past six years and none of my family members could locate me due to the poor state of the road. I can’t even invite them because I understand the health condition of my mum. She’s asthmatic and the road is bad enough to send her to untimely death which I will not want to happen. It is indeed a dehumanising situation.”
Another resident, who identified herself as Iya Segun, said she lost her younger brother to an accident on the road.
She said, “The potholes caused me the loss of my immediate younger brother, Tunde, last year. He fell on the bike and sustained lots of injuries that led to his death. The bike entered a pothole at night when he was returning from work and flew him away which resulted in hurting his head before he eventually died in the hospital a week after.”
She continued, “The road is never good, both during the rainy and dry season. Whenever there is rain, the road it always marshy and becomes difficult for one to drive. Also, during the dry season, what one sees is a dusty road that turn one’s clothes to reddish-brown colour. In fact many commercial bus drivers no longer ply the road. Commercial buses no longer ply the road and we’ve all got no choice than to use Okada and what do expect? We pay two or three times of what we use to pay”.
Mutiu Fadamilare who has been living in Igbesa since 2009 said, “Instead of waking up in the morning to count my blessings, I wake up every morning to think about the difficulties I will pass through to my office and when returning back in the evening. When it rains, I put my office wear in my bag and change my cloth in my office toilet. Businesses keep folding up every day. The state of this road is frustrating. The road made be car less.”
Speaking with Ayeesah Rafiu, a female student of the Ogun State Institute of Technology, we learned that the fear of the road makes most students of the institution remain within Igbesa except on vacations or an important need to do so.
“The first thing you consider is the amount you are giving the motorcycle rider, the second thing is the stress and risk one passes through on that road,” she said. As far as I know, students rarely leave Igbesa during school session. When the road is muddy during rainy season, we experience hell.”
Another student, Chinonso Nwakete, said the government is toying with the lives of students. “Is it not frustrating that the state government has an institution in a place where students’ lives are at risk? As students, we host several events but often do not have schools from outside participating and when we ask them questions, they give the excuse of the poor road linking OGITECH”.
A motorcycle rider, who identified himself as Haruna, said he and his colleagues charge passengers exorbitantly because of the stress and the damage the road cause their motorcycle.
“Buses rarely come here. They can’t ply the road. Not every Okada comes here especially when it rains. So, some of us that take the risk considering the damage the road will cause our machine and we add that to the transport fare.”
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information, Dayo Adeneye, said the state government was working on the road and enjoined the residents to be patient.
“What has been spoilt for years cannot be repaired overnight. The governor said he will fix the road and we have started. In the last six years, we’ve spent over N153 billion on roads. We’ve not even been paid by the Federal Government but we can’t fold our hands.
“Look at the bridge along Ibadan road, there was a day 42 people died on the road. The Governor had to put bridge which cost over N2 billion. Just that people forget things quickly. Beyond road, some states haven’t paid 15 months salaries but in Ogun, we are doing the needful. 82 per cent of Lagos-Ibadan expressway is within the corridor of Ogun State and the last time, the governor spent over N700 million on the road. You can see that traffic has already reduced at the Redeemed axis. So we cannot say because Igbesa road is bad, it is a death trap.
“While we focus on roads, we need to construct schools, hospitals, and others. We need funds to do all these. We all want to make progress and we only need our people to understand,” Mr. Adeneye said.
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