Lafenwa-Itele Bad Road Victims Rain Curses On Government Reps, Threaten
Victims of terribly dilapidated Lafenwa-Itele road in Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, most of who have recently suffered various degrees of losses as a result of the bad road, were heard by our crew on Sunday September 5, 2021, raining curses on government representatives of the area as they underwent another round of torture during Sunday’s heavy downpour.
They accused both legislative and executive arms of the state government of deliberate neglect. According to them, most flooded and muddy parts of the road have consistently grown worse over the last 15 years despite the existence of representatives at various levels of government. Some regular users and residents of the road narrated their ordeal to chiedualbinus.com, reeling out the losses they have been recording as a result of the terrible state of the road.
A resident of the area, Mr. Ayeni Oba said he knew of at least, three pregnant women resident in the area, who had lost their pregnancies through miscarriages after being being subjected to frequent gallops and bad spots while using the road.
Another regular user of the road who resides in the area said a fellow resident had lost three cars to the bad road within a space of one year. The bitter stories of commercial and private vehicle owners were mind bugling as according to them, their vehicles have always been at mechanic workshops. Many commercial buses initially operating the route have stopped plying the road to save their vehicles’ lifespan. Because of this, life has been difficult for residents and road users in the increasingly populated area as they go through unbearable ordeal to secure commercial vehicles to their various destinations, especially during the rainy season. Many in most cases, resort to very long distant trekking on a daily basis due to lack of vehicles to convey them, as drivers abstain from the roads. Such residents eventually experience recurring illnesses resulting from stress.
Mr. Alabi Olubi, a commercial bus driver said they had no option than to charge very exhorbitant fares, thereby restricting their services to only people who can afford them. “No be say we self like to charge high money. Even the money wey we dey charge no fit repair our motor because ‘portortportor’ and water dey spoil am every time,” he explained in pidgin English.
Some of the aggrieved residents of the area alleged that the traditional rulers in the area were not bothered about the state of the road because government officials always “settle” them while the urchins popularly known as “Agberos” have a field day, intimidating and collecting money from commercial vehicle drivers unchecked att Mopol Junction and Lafenwa Bus Stop.
“All these Abgeros will not even like the road to be constructed because the bad state of the roads helps their business. They will lose their business of collecting money from drivers if the road is fixed. So, they also settle people upstairs on a daily basis,” said Munikat Afe
On Sunday, September 5, 2021, there were a total of five buses, four private vehicles, seven tipper lorries and six trailers that either broke down, obstructing movement or sank at various marshy portions between Lafenwa and Mopol Junction.
Our phone call has not been answered again by Honourable Jimoh Ojugbele of the Federal House of Representatives after he was contacted for his input concerning an action towards the bad state of the road.
When Honourable Yusuf Abiodun, the constituency’s representative at the Ogun State House of Assembly, who even occupies an exalted position of House Majority Leader was contacted in August 2021 on the issue, he gave an assurance that the Governor Dapo Abiodun “will soon” give an attention to the area. He has however, avoided our calls after that conversation. Efforts are still being made to reach the Governor and his Commissioners.
Meanwhile, intense anger is mounting among residents and road users in the area, who have threatened to do “unimaginable things” if the road is not fixed as soon as possible.
“We will not even wait for 2023 election campaigns because the wickedness of these politicians is too much,’ said Andy Debola, a resident.
Asked what he and his cohorts intended to do, he said: “we will keep that under cover for now but help us warn these government people that we understand their game of signing monies in the name of projects and not doing them, especially this Ogun State that seems to be under a spell on the issue of roads. We are not waiting for any 2023 elections because we don’t even believe their political promises anymore. Tell them to repair this road for us fast-o!.”
Chiedualbinus.com gathered that residents of Lafenwa-Itele area were majorly unenlightened people many years ago. This has changed astronomically within the last two decades as the area has increasingly gotten populated by educated landlords and tenants, including elites that are capable of accessing and probing the conduct of government officials.
Despite various media reports on the bad state of Lafenwa-Itele road since 2012, no effort has been made to fix the roads by any level of government. Chiedualbinus.com gathered that the last meeting of Community Development Association (CDA) Executives with the state government officials on the matter was in 2020 but the CDA only received a political promise that has remained unfulfilled.