Kwara residents lament poor federal roads
Nearly all federal government roads in Kwara State are in disrepair. Motorists and commuters have a hard time on them.
Some of the roads urgently calling for attention include Ajase-Ipo-Offa-Erin-Ile, Olooru-Bode-Saadu-Jebba along Lagos-Kaduna high way, Ilorin-Kabba and Kishi-Kaiama all in Irepodun, Offa, Oyun, Moro and Kaiama local government areas of the state.
Touched by this unsavoury development, groups under the aegis od Offa Descendants Union (ODU) recently lamented the dilapidated status of the Ajase-Ipo-Offa-Erin-Ile road.
The road connects Kwara state with Osun state in the South west. Secretary General of ODU, Mrs. Wosilate Mccarthy during the 80th anniversary of ODU recently to urge the federal government to release fund for the rehabilitation of the six kilometre road to ameliorate suffering of the vehicle owners plying the road.
The ODU chieftain, who said that the people were concerned about the present condition of road, added that business owners had suffered loss resulting from damage and destruction of their goods and vehicles, especially during raining season.
The organisation, which commended efforts of the state government at rehabilitating the road in the past, said that several letters of appeal had been written to the concerned authorities over the nagging problem.
As if that is not enough, two sons of Offa community who are members of the Kwara state House of Assembly, Prince Saheed Popoola and Alhaji Hassan Oyeleke (plaintiffs) have dragged the federal government and the firm handling the rehabilitation of the road to court for abandonment.
The name of the company is Preconsmith Construction Limited. In their writ of summons filed by their counsel, John W. Irogu averred that the abandonment of the road by the contractor after the collection of substantial part of the contract sum is wrong.
The plaintiffs have sought for the following reliefs: "A declaration that the said intentional abandonment of the said road has caused the people of the state including the plaintiffs undue hardship since the road has become practically impassable and a declaration that the federal government has failed to use the power of his office to compel the contractor (2nd defendant) to execute the contract upon which a huge sum of money had been received a long time ago or to bring the contractor to book for such failure.
The lawmakers had also sought for "an order declaring the abandonment of the road by the contractor as illegal and wrongful and an order compelling the construction firm to return to site to complete the road project. "In the alternative an order compelling the federal government to use its power to either compel the contractor to execute the contract or bring the company to book for its failure to so execute."
Leaders of Bode Saadu community in Moro local government area state have also expressed serious concern over the deplorable condition of Bode Saadu-Jebba road. District head of Lanwa community, Alhaji Saad Gambari, said that the road which is the only major road that links northern states of Nigeria with South west, had gone intolerably bad.
Alhaji Gambari said that many lives are being lost on daily due to poor state of the road, adding that criminal activities were rampant.
The community leader also appealed to federal government authorities to fix the deplorable road in order to make life bearable for them. He said that “the situation of the road is terrible and government has not showed concern to the road despite our frequent request and plea to the federal government. The road is causing a lot of problem to the communities involved like frequent armed robberies. Asthmatic patients that live by the side of the road are also affected by the dust especially during the dry season.
A number of people have lost their lives as a result of these developments. We are using this period to call on the federal government to come to our rescue as a matter of urgency."
The president of Jebba Descendants Union, Alhaji Yusuf Abdulkareem agreed that Jebba-Bode Saadu road is a federal government road, urged the state government to intervene and give palliative measures that could help the condition of the road.
Alhaji Abdulkareem said the condition of the road deteriorated three years ago, adding that "a construction firm brought total to the road last year to work on it and to our surprise they could not do anything on the road and they disappeared with their equipment immediately after the general election."
The representative of the communities in the state's House of Assembly, Mathew Okedara,representing Lanwa, Ejidongari constituency, said that he bought grader to grade the road when the condition was becoming unbearable, adding that he had informed Federal Emergency Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) both in Ilorin and Abuja office without any response yet.
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