Ekiti most neglected state, says Afe Babalola
Founder of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola, yesterday lamented that Ekiti State was the most neglected state in the country by the Federal Government.
The legal icon, while reacting to the collapsed Ureje Bridge linking his university, the Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti, several towns and villages in Ekiti and Ondo states, said all federal roads in the state are in deplorable conditions.
Babalola said the bridge was built almost one hundred years ago and nothing had been done to improve on it.
He said: “I have been the one maintaining that road in the past nine years, but this year, after series of letters, FERMA wrote to me informing that they have awarded the road to a contractor and I have been following the contractor day and night. What I know, which is true, is that the contractor has done more damage to the road than helping us.
“I wrote about the bridge to all those concerned; federal Ministry of Works and copied the President. I also wrote letters to the state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, because I knew the road was neglected by the contractor and the Federal Government. Indeed, Ekiti State is the most neglected state in this country.
“Look at the road between Ilesha and Ado-Ekiti, it was made over 20 years ago. This road from Ado-Ekiti to Ijan to Ode to Ikare and to Lokoja was build before I was born over 100 years ago.
“That narrow bridge, which you saw, was also built over 100 years ago. When I was in school, we used to trek from that place to Ogbese River to cut what we called prank cane to make chairs and wooden ceilings. Nothing has been done to improve on the bridge. I have been writing, phoning, sending text messages that bridge will collapse anytime. I warned all of them, including the governor, that something should be done before it collapses.”
Meanwhile, the state governor yesterday said that the state government would urgently address the collapsed Ureje Bridge in Ado-Ekiti in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
Fayemi, who spoke yesterday while inspecting the flood-ravaged bridge and some other flooded areas in Ado-Ekiti, said his government had already swung into action with some remedial measures to ensure the flood no longer cause further havoc on the people of the state.
He said he had already contacted the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who had promised to ensure that something would be done urgently to address the issue.
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