Residents and property owners at Pakuro, Ijere-Worugundu, Ijere- Onigbedu, Tolotolo, Kara-Nla, Kara- Kekere, Magbon and other surrounding communities in Obafemi-Owode Local Council of Ogun State have lamented years of neglect and abandonment, which had left the only access road to these communities in deplorable condition.
The road, which connects Magbon River, a renowned sand excavation site passing through 10 communities to Lotto and Deeper Life camp along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, has over the years become a nightmare for residents.
Motorists, who include tipper drivers, are worried about long years of neglect for such an important road by the state, which benefits tremendously from activities on Magbon river and environs.
Apart from communal efforts, which are often not well supervised, there is no single presence of governance on the road, despite the large volume of vehicular movements, especially from tippers and heavy-duty vehicles, which ply the road to the excavation site at Magbon.
Last year, the ugly state of the road forced the Community Development Associations, (CDAs) to task every house in the area N1,000 each for digging of drains and sand filling of the road.
However, the efforts quickly gave way owing to poor coordination, large volume of vehicles going to the excavation site and the texture of the soil. The effect was lamentation and regrets, as residents feel abandoned.
Expressing the communities’ frustrations, Chairman, Blessed Assurance CDA , Ego Omenigbo , said it is important for government to come around this dry season to check the deplorable state of the road and see how it could be salvaged to ensure easier movement for residents and tipper drivers that ply the road before the rains start.
Omenigbo, who has lived at Ijere- Worugundo, after Idiroko, off Magbon road, for over 10 years, said a lot of heavy vehicles plying the road come to pick laterite used to build roads in Ogun State, while the state is not showing any concern with the road from where the laterite is taken.
He noted that residents on yearly basis contribute money to grade and sandfill the road but because the trucks that ply the road are heavy, the road easily gets damaged and creates ditches that make it impassable especially during the rainy season.
The CDA chair also stressed that tipper drivers have refused to join residents to fix the road because they alleged that they are always ticketed by the government.
He appealed to Governor Abiodun to come to the aid of residents and ensure palliative works on the road. They said property owners and residents’ efforts are frustrated, urging government to include the road among the ones marked for rehabilitation in the 2022 budget.
According to him, it will be a disservice to leave out such an important road from which laterite is collected to fix others.
He said: “We are appealing to government to make the road motorable both for residents and tipper drivers collecting laterite and sand from Magbon river and environs.”
A resident, Monica Aderenoke, whose children fell off a commercial motorcycle into the mud four years ago was angry that the government is yet to assist communities within the axis, after the incident that injured her children.
“My children, whose school bus could no longer ply the road because of its deplorable state, sustained injuries and my husband insisted that we abandon our property and relocate to Lagos.
“I was surprised that after three years the situation is getting worse,” she lamented.
Also, Chairman, Ajumoni Progressive Community Development Council (CDC), another community in the area, Mr. Jimoh Owolabi said they are looking for government’s support, because every year, the community put in a lot of efforts to make the road motorable by grading it and sandfilling but during the rainy season, the road is not motorable.
According to him, there are trucks that carry sand, which always makes the road unmotorable during dry season and we are looking for government help.
“We have sharp sand and laterite that is being taken and they pay to commerce and industry. The ministry of commerce and industry always comes around to collect money from them. And we even have Local Council ticketing on our roads, collecting almost N3, 000 everyday.”
Owolabi, who has lived in the community since 2000, said nobody has done anything for them both the state and the Local Council.
“When this road gets bad, there’s no way, right from Pakuro junction on the expressway, to go inside because commercial motorcyclists charge us heavily.
“Sometimes from the main road, the fare that is supposed to be N100 is increased to between N300 and N500.
“If you’re going to the interior part of the community, you will be paying nothing less than N1, 500 for a bike to take you down there. So that is the problem we are facing every year on this road.”
Reacting, Mr. Sunday Olakunle Somorin, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun, assured that the road will be sorted in the New Year
According to him, the state had marked out some roads to be rehabilitated in the 2022 budget.
“I have reminded the commissioner of works, and he assured me that the road will be sorted out,” he said.