Anger as Oyo indigenes writhe in agony over pervasive bad roads

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Anger as Oyo indigenes writhe in agony over pervasive bad roads

Khalid ABRAHAM

From Ogbomoso to Oyo, to Saki, to Iseyin, to Ibadan, to Eruwa, to Igbo-Ora and every corner, Oyo state indigenes are reeling in pain as a result of bad roads many of which have become unmotorable.

Olooro area along Mogaji road, Oyo, Oyo state.

“Roads in Oyo state have never been this bad,” an angry man in Saki, who did not want his name mentioned, told ogbomosoinsightonline.com.

Another man in Ogbomoso, who gave his name simply as Kehinde lamented, “We did not deserve this, all the roads have become dilapidated, vehicle owners cry in agony, motorcycle operators writhe in pain and pedestrians curse under their breath passing through these roads.”

Another section of Olooro road in Oyo

Continuing, Mr. Kehinde said, “All we have heard are promises, such as when the rain stops constructions and rehabilitations of roads will commence, but nothing has ever been done. The dry season would wear away and we would not see a finger being lifted.”

In the past, local government councils were firmly in control, they from time to time undertook the repair of damaged roads, maintained them and opened up new residential areas with new roads. Today, councils have become shadows of themselves, they merely exist in names, they have become comatose, just serving to pay salaries of workers made redundant and to share the little that accrued.

Katangwa Ogbomoso, people living there are cut off

“Councils are no more councils, they are now salary collection centres for workers who have no work to do, not because they aren’t willing but because they are denied their statutory duties. Yes, council workers hardly go to work again, because there is nothing to do, state government has taken over every responsibility but sadly those responsibilities are not discharged to make life better for the people. The sad thing is that nobody is talking,” an exasperated council worker in Oyo city stated.

Chairman of Ogbomoso local government, Hon Kabir Ayoade Akanji inspecting a damaged road but incapacitated to direct its repair – Executive chairman without executive powers

Local government autonomy is virtually dead in Oyo state according to findings, council chairmen are mere figureheads presently, with no statutory powers, potholes they have no wherewithal to fill, yet they dare not talk. This is because they don’t want to lose the little benefits they derive as council bosses. It is so bad.

Another road in a residential area in Ogbomoso

The last we have heard is that the state government through the Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency (OYSROMA) will soon begin rehabilitation of roads across the state – 5 kilometres per local government. imagine! So, councils are required to submit lists of roads to be constructed in their council areas which would be approved after rigorous defence. These are indeed bad times for local governments in the state.

The bridge that linked Ogbegun community in Ogbomoso was washed off about two years ago

Gone are the days when local governments competed over road constructions and when road interventions served as benchmark for performance. Then, they had control or greater control over their allocations or revenues. But the power has been eroded; their allocations are now cornered by the state government leaving them emasculated and the grassroots the poorer for it.

In three years five months of this administration, all road that has been constructed in Ogbomoso either by the local governments or state government, as an example, is not more than 3 kilometres (Oke-Ado Akintola – LAUTECH Under-G road.

“That’s too bad. Ordinary maintenance of roads, councils now are deprived of the wherewithal to accomplish it. The result is that going through these dilapidated roads is hellish; vehicles, motorcycles get easily damaged and many communities are cut off due to collapsed bridges or denuded roads,” an infuriated Ibadan man submitted.

“People are really angry over the poor state of the roads across the state but the government is lucky because they are dealing with people who are docile, complacent and restrained by religiosity,” he added.

Governor Makinde

We appeal to the Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, to gear up in this aspect so that people can heave a sigh of relief concerning the state of roads.

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