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Agony of Ogun communities over access route

By Bertram Nwannekanma
01 July 2016   |   4:00 am
These are definitely not the best of times for residents and property owners at Pakuro, Ijere-Worugundu, Magbon, Tolotolo and other surrounding communities in Obafemi-Owode Local Council ...
Deplorable state of Magbon Road

Deplorable state of Magbon Road

Residents, property owners seek urgent intervention

These are definitely not the best of times for residents and property owners at Pakuro, Ijere-Worugundu, Magbon, Tolotolo and other surrounding communities in Obafemi-Owode Local Council, following the state of the only access route to these communities.

The road, which connects Magbon River, a renowned sand excavation site passing through eight communities to the Deeper Life camp end of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, has over the years become a nightmare for residents. The road users are bewildered that such road has over the years been allowed to remain in such deplorable state in spite of its economic benefits to Ogun State and neighbouring Lagos State.

Apart from several communal efforts, which are often not well supervised, there is no single presence of governance on the road, despite the large volume of vehicular movement, especially 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 N1000 each for the digging of drains and sandfilling 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 resultant effect was lamentations and regrets, as residents feel abandoned.

A resident, who was so fumed after her children, who were being taken to school, fell off from a commercial motorcycle into the mud, wondered why the communities are abandoned as outcasts. “My children, whose school bus could no longer ply the road sustained grievous injuries.”

Also sharing her grief was also a mother of three, popular known as Mummy Lola, whose vehicle broke down inside the muddy water last Friday at Iroko, a perennial bad spot along the road.

The Iroko spot, she said has remained a nightmare for residents and motorists because many school children and adults have seen their uniform and office clothes drenched in the mud as commercial motorcyclists wade through the mess of muddy water.

Lamenting that the governor has refused to fulfill his elections promise when he visited some of the communities during the electioneering campaigns last year, Mummy Lola said the governor should take another visit to see things for himself.

“My brother, I don’t understand any more, the governor has not come back to witness our pains. Our vehicles can no longer wade through the muddy water. The Okada riders are also hesitating to ply the route even for an exorbitant fee. Only the brave ones dare it at a higher cost.

“Whenever I risk going out with my vehicle, both the car shaft and the bow-joints will get damaged. I have on several occasions visited the mechanic to fix this. We cannot continue this way, many residents have relocated owing to this problem and other lack of social amenities.

“We had hoped that this year will be better after the governor visited and promise us so many projects for this community, but that is not the case because the rains are just starting and we don’t know what will happen as the situation is degenerating,” she added.

The woman, therefore, urged the governor to do something urgent to alleviate the hardship of residents, as well as check the activities of sand excavators in order the avert the imminent danger of such uncoordinated excavation.

Also an official of one of the CDAs, who pleaded for anonymity, said previous efforts by the CDAs to align with members of the Tipper Association to effect durable repairs on the road were rebuffed, as they prefer to manage the levies being collected from the tipper drivers on their own.

According to him, if government can collect these levies, it will not only do a concrete road but also help in boosting the internal revenue generation of the state.

But a tipper driver, Linus Mmadu, who said they are made to pay about N1,000 per trip, lamented the high cost of maintaining their vehicles because of the appalling state of the road. According to him, it is disheartening that residents often accused the tipper drivers for damaging the road. “They are, however, ignorant of the fact that we are paying heavily to maintain the road.”