From Bola Ogunlayi, Regional Editor,South West.
Ibadan, the political headquarters of the South West is the most populous city in the region with over 3.5million residents. It is also the third most populous city in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano. Records put it in vantage development position after being considered the third largest city in Africa after Johannesburg and Cairo.
Due to its cosmopolitan nature, four other states including, Ekiti, Osun, Ondo, and Ogun made Ibadan, capital of Oyo state their commercial nerve center by, on daily basis, engaging the people with one business activity or the other.
As a major Nigerian transport hub with freeway linking it with notable towns and villages, Ibadan is faced with serious challenge of poor inter-city road network. The terrible state of its major and minor ways gives the citizens sleepless nights.
The bad roads in virtually all link roads within the state capital have become subject of discussion at every quarter. In some areas, the land lord Association’s contribute heavily to effect repairs according to their capacities. The rainy season does not even help matters as the terrible positions of the roads make the people apprehensive.
The situation, Time Nigeria gathered, appear the same in township roads in popular towns of Oyo, Ogbomoso, Saki, Eruwa, Ibarapa and Lanlate.
Service roads in the state capital such as Odo-Ona-Elewe-Asipa-Orita, Olorunsogo-Ona Ara, General Gas-Akobo-Olorunda Aba, Moniya-Ijaye,Apete-Awotan, Ologuneru-Ido-Eruwa, Agugu-Ogbere-Idi Osan, Eleyele-Apata, Bembo-Kuola linking New Garge expressway which are all state roads are all begging for government attention.
Vehicle owners and commuters have terrible stories on the damaging effects of the roads on their daily business activities; some have abandoned their vehicles citing lack of financial muscle to bear the heavy impacts on vehicles they used as means of income.
Each time, residents come across Journalists, they put them at the receiving end of attacks, accusing them of failure to pick up governments at local and state levels for failure to fix roads.
“Apart from economic recession which has become a general problem, the state of township roads in Ibadan is very disturbing. I can’t put my car on our road from Asipa to Orita because is no longer passable”, a Contractor, Adebayo Goerge confessed.
“Argument that roads would be repaired after rain season is a weak one because the government can still refill existing roads to make people embark on commercial and official activities”, he added.
Mama B, is a very popular restaurant operator at Babalola Estate, Orita-Challenge area. She said, she has never seen the road situation so rough and bad to the extent that they are abandoned due to embarrassing pot holes.
“I have lost customers who no longer pass by as all their vehicles have been grounded due to the worsening road situation”, she lamented.
Residents of Bankole-Oleyo areas have their hope of road repair dashed when news filtered to them that the number three citizen of the state, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Michael Adeyemo, a landlord in their area has abandoned the property.
Adeyemo initially promised the landlord delegation that the state government under, Governor Abiola Ajimobi would repair the road during a visit shortly after his assumption of office.
Over a year after the visitation, the road has not been given any attention. Worst of all, time it rains, the culverts threatened movement of the people who contribute relative percentages to the economic growth of the state capital.
The road situation is the same in major routes like, Odo-Oba, Oja oba, Oja-gbo, Beyerunka, Born Photo, Gege, Eyin Grammar, Oloosa Oko, Foko, Gangansi, Oranyan, Oniyanri, Abebi, Oke Padre, oke-Itunnu, Odo-Ona Kekere and Muslim area.
Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi whose efforts at constructing double lane roads from Eleyele-Dugbe and Challenge-Orita-New Garage way during his first term in office has been challenged to replicate such efforts in notable roads that are making life unbearable for the citizens.
Senator Ajimobi has attributed the hues and cries over the state of the roads to the dwindling federal allocations and charged the citizens to assist his government in payment of taxes for revenue generations.
The Governor consistently maintained that his government would not shirk away his responsibilities of meeting the peoples’ demands.
Only time can tell, how soon government promises will come to pass!