Residents of the Olokuta neighborhood of Abeokuta, Ogun state, have protested against the appalling condition of the road connecting Prof Wole Soyinka train station.
On Saturday the residents who held placards with different inscriptions bemoaned the state of the road, which they alleged to have taken lives and halted socioeconomic activity in the region.
Some of the inscriptions read “Watch out!!! Total rehabilitation of train station road,” “Please save us from Olokuta bad roads,” “All business activities are now paralyzed along Olokuta- train station route,” “ We know that you will help our community” “Joint Communal effort not enough again, please save our soul,” “We hardly get savings as a result of the bad train station road,” “ All we are saying is give us good road” among others.
Ogunwatch gathered that aside from the train station, the road also connects about 52 communities in the area under Abeokuta South Local Government.
Chief Ezekiel Olushola, one of the community leaders, revealed that a student and a pregnant woman died as a result of the road’s terrible state.
“For instance, a student was coming from a school at Kemta, and there was a truck coming, because of the bad road, the driver wanted to maneuver from a bad spot and unfortunately, he hit the student and he died,” he said.
Olabisi Ogundipe, the secretary of the taxi drivers at the train station, said: “We visit our mechanics every day to have minor and significant repairs made to our cars. We discover that, in the end, when you calculate how much money you have saved, you would have spent more than 70% of your earnings on car upkeep.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the local communities, Babatunde Folarin, stated that effort was made by the residents as they have spent around 20 million naira to fix the road.
“It’s glaring, this is an ecological disaster affecting the communities and over 52 communities are in this area. This road is cut off. What else can we do?
“The economic viability of this area has been destroyed. This is a disaster. It’s a failed road. This road is less than three kilometers. We have tried our best. We have called people for donations, but right now the residents are tired, we are broke.”
He did, however, appeal to the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, and the Federal government to promptly repair the road to alleviate the users’ suffering.