By Daniel Ayantoye
Every citizen they say, deserves access to good social amenities, but while some enjoy this benefit of good governance, some still have to face the challenges of deplorable infrastructures. Some residents and commuters of Ajegunle/Egbejila belong to the latter.
Before now, however, residents and commuters of Ajegunle/Egbejila communities have suffered diverse challenges as a result of the deplorable conditions of the road and bridge in the area.
Ajegunle/Egbejila road, which serves as an alternative route from Asa-Dam to Airport, links not less than five communities with a population of about five thousand (5000) people.
The appalling condition of the road, especially the major bridge in the area – Egbejila Bridge, has led to loss of lives and properties as several accidents had occurred due to the delay in construction of the road and bridge. The incidence ranges from motorcycles and tricycles running into ditches, to cars breaking down uncontrollably and victims of accidents falling into the river, there were cases of young people swept away by the river as a result of the bad bridge.
The drainages are also in bad shapes causing erosion to wash away sand on the road, thereby creating several potholes that affected road users.
A visit to the area by National Pilot revealed that this menace has caused not less many road users to visit their mechanics weekly for one repair or the other.
For pedestrians, the experience is more of a nightmare, as dust would not allow them to maintain clean outfit when they ply the road. During raining season, especially, shoes and cloths become stained with mud.
Traders are equally not left out as some battle with the cleaning of their goods every minute of the day as a result of dust, others choose when to open their shops to avoid inhaling dusts as it is expected that fleet of cars ply the road most times in the early hours and late evening of the day.
Some times in the past, one of the most disastrous incidents was reported by this medium. It is now 10 months since the tragic incident took the life of a young schoolboy, Ogbodo Benjamin.
The Junior Secondary School pupil of Baptist Model School, Ilorin, died when he fell from a wooden bridge locally constructed to aide commuters plying the road.
The report states that the boy slipped and fell into the river, but before anyone could rescue him he was swept away by the flood.
His death, however, angered residents of the area, who stormed the Kwara State House of Assembly complex, to protest against the non-completion of the bridge alleging that many lives had been lost due to the delay in its completion.
Similarly, recall that this medium once reported that some residents in the area lamented the delay in the construction of the road, shortly, after which series of grading was carried out by the state government.
However, the story about the condition of the road is different today, as the state government under the leadership of Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed has constructed a bridge and commenced the construction of the road.
With grading and laying of asphalt on a part of the road, residents and traders have started to feel some relief and impact of good governance in the state.
While commending the state government in an interview with National Pilot on Tuesday, some residents appealed to the governor for the completion of the project.
A resident who identified herself as Alhaja Banke Elelubo said, “we really appreciate the government for their effort so far, before now, we cannot sit outside here, but it is different now”.
Another resident, Ibrahim Yahyah, said, “Personally I have woeful experiences on this road; you can imagine after dressing and looking good from home, by the time I trek from my home to Asa-Dam, my cloth would have been covered with dust, but right now it is different. We appreciate the government, and we want them to help us complete the road”.
Nurudeen Alowonle, CEO of Alowonle Block Industry while also commending the state government said “I had to park my car at home because I was always taking the car to mechanic. There was a day the two front tyres forcefully removed while driving”.
For a restaurant operator, who simply identified herself as Iya Sunkanmi, the construction of the road has eliminated issues she faced from dust.
“My customers can now sit down and eat with convenience. Before now, people find it difficult eating here because of the dust. Also I just couldn’t bring my children here, if I do, I should be expecting to take them to the hospital the next day”.
Another trader, Mrs Iyiola Oladipe said “Yes, our state government has done well, but its effort will be fulfilling if they can complete the project. They should just push more to construct it up to Airport junction and then you will have more people to celebrate them. The drainages are another issue, if the construction will last well, something should be done to link them at the junction along Asa-Dam to an exit point, because despite the fact that the road at that end has been constructed, the last rain flooded the road”.
A cooking gas dealer, Hassan Rasaq Olayinka, who said dust has caused his neighbours lot of problems, however, solicits on behalf of other residents of the area, the fast completion of the road and its extension to areas where the construction is yet to get to.
“Thank God for those of us that can now sit and enjoy fresh air. Meanwhile, as a person, on behalf of those living at the other side that the construction is yet to get to, I want to urge the government to fast track the construction of the road. Believe you me; they are still feeling the pains we complained about the other time. Government should please hasten the project”.
In the same vein, the chairman of Okada riders association in the area, Usman Muhammed, implore government to help with the provision of down-blow
“We thank the state government and in fact this has taken a long time and it is good, If the government is doing such things, there’s no way we won’t be supporting them whenever they need us. We appeal to them to help us complete the road and construct down-blow because people now over speed and as you know this is not a highway, so the speed should be regulated”.
Similarly, his counterpart, Mukaila Amuda, Chairman of tricycle association said “We thank our governor for the construction of the bridge, which has averted the challenges we used to have. Before now, you will just hear somebody fall into the flood from the tricycle popularly called Keke NAPEP or Keke has broken down on the flooded road, but the situation is different now. We call on them to please complete it. We assure them of all our support if they can help us with this” he added.