Commuters stranded as road collapses on Ondo-Akure highway
.Motorists demand urgent action, fault FERMA for negligence
Motorists and travellers were left stranded along the busy Ondo-Akure highway after a significant portion of the road at Owena axis collapsed due to heavy rainfall.
Consequently, the resulting damage has caused a severe traffic snarl, forcing motorists to turn back.
Even those travelling from Akure, the Ondo State capital, were compelled to seek alternative routes, going as far as Akure-Ilesa road, to access Ondo town.
The Guardian learnt that the situation has left commuters frustrated, as they called for urgent repairs and maintenance on the affected highway.
Residents and traders in the area, who expressed dissatisfaction with the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), alleged that the agency had turned a blind eye to the deteriorating condition of the road despite the obvious warnings.
They noted that the highway would not have reached its current terrible state if FERMA had taken appropriate action to fix the road when initial signs of failure emerged.
They accused the agency of negligence, saying FERMA’s inaction contributed to the present dire situation.
Meanwhile, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Ondo South, Segun Odidi, has appealed to the state government for urgent intervention.
Recognising the significance of Ondo-Akure highway for the state’s transportation and economic activities, Odidi stressed the need for the government to address the issue promptly, and ensure swift repair of the damaged section of the highway.
He said: “Ondo State government, please help us to temporarily fix the Akure-Ondo road at the Owena end. Although it’s a Federal road, the pain people go through on the road is unbearable now.
“I had to drive from Ondo through Ile-Oluji to Ilesha motorway before I could connect Akure yesterday, making it a journey of almost two hours since the normal route has been rendered impassable. Please come to the aid of our people the way you have always done on that failed portion of the road in Owena axis.
“Also, the failed portion of Ondo-Ife road at Valentino axis of the town is becoming a nightmare to motorists; help fix this portion also. I gave credit to the Ondo State government for its interventions in the past; we need your intervention now!”
Another motorist and lecturer, Dr. Adetokunbo Adepoju, said: “The pains are excruciating, and if urgent measures are not taken, the hardships would compound the delicate transportation problems faced by the downtrodden.”
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