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Ibadan… In the throes of refuse heaps, bad roads and traffic congestions

By Seye Olumide (Southwest Bureau Chief), Rotimi Agboluaje, Moyosore Salami and Wale Ojo
14 August 2022   |   2:37 am
With preparations for the 2023 gubernatorial election gathering momentum in Oyo State, Governor Seyi Makinde may need to urgently attend to three critical challenges, which the opposition

Refuse heap in front of Mapo Hall, Ibadan <br />

With preparations for the 2023 gubernatorial election gathering momentum in Oyo State, Governor Seyi Makinde may need to urgently attend to three critical challenges, which the opposition could capitalise on to discredit his administration. They are the irritating sights of refuse heaps, bad state of roads and discomforting traffic snarls.

 
While the governor may be boasting of having achieved so much in the last three and half years to secure the support of the citizens to reelect him come 2023, he may be faced with an arduous task of convincing residents of Ibadan, considered as the largest voting catchment in the state, to cast their votes for him again, what with the heaps of refuse gradually taking over the metropolis in the last couple of months.
 
Besides the refuse heaps and its nauseating stench that disturbs the city, Ibadan residents are also groaning about the dilapidated state of major roads, which according to many respondents, have been causing untold traffic hardship to motorists and commuters.

Refuse heap at Ojoo<br />


Today, across many major roads in Ibadan, productive hours are spent in traffic simply because of potholes and craters. While there are dire health implications of the time spent in the traffic congestions appointments, vehicle owners also recount the cost implications of frequent repairs due to damages caused by the poor state of the roads.
 
Speaking with The Guardian, Alhaji Tunji Ajala recalled that Ibadan used to be very peaceful and serene with free flowing traffic. But he lamented that the traffic situation has now become almost as bad as that of Lagos. “It was in Lagos we witnessed commercial activities spilling onto the roads but Ibadan has taken over now. You cannot drive smoothly across major markets in Ibadan without being obstructed by traders’ wares flagrantly displayed on the road,” he said.  
 
Makinde’s administration is also accused of having lost the verve to either get rid of or tame the ubiquitous street urchins and beggars, who currently constitute an eyesore on the roads, major roundabouts and other critical areas within the Ibadan metropolis.
 
Aggrieved residents lamented that the Makinde administration is doing next to nothing to address the spilling of commercial activities from major markets onto the roads. This, according to them, is compounding the traffic problems while also breeding more street urchins, who frequently harass innocent citizens as observed in places like Ojo, Iwo road, Mokola roundabout, Beere area, Challenge, Apete, Gbagi, Molete, Oke Ado and Moniya, among other places.

Bad Road Sections 
Some of the residents who spoke with The Guardian during the week appealed to Governor Makinde to take proactive measures in resolving the challenges. They expressed disappointment over government’s lackadaisical approach to road rehabilitation across the city.
   
“The recent efforts to fix parts of the roads were merely an afterthought, there is need for an holistic approach to save citizens of Ibadan from the harrowing experience of traffic congestion occasioned by bad spots,” Nasiru Adepeju, a commuter said.
 
A commercial bus driver who operates the Lagos-Ibadan route from Ojoo Bus Terminal said, “This government has no excuse whatsoever not to have fixed or repaired all the bad spots on Ibadan roads. What is adding to the pains is the ongoing construction on Toll Gate to Iwo road axis along Iwo road expressway. In most cases, we prefer to go through the city to avoid the traffic along Iwo road. But the roads within the city are also bad. There is a particular crater at Dugbe bus stop which impedes vehicular movements terribly and holds up many people for several hours.”
 
Another road user in Ibadan, Bade Olawale lamented the pains motorists go through along Beere Oje road. He said: “Very close to Mapo hall, there are bad spots that cause traffic almost every time except at night. And unfortunately, those bad spots stretch along the road till you get to Molete. So, one ends up spending more hours inside the traffic.”

 
Commuters plying Oke Ado road to link Challenge bus stop or roundabout, also complained about the state of the road, saying, it is nothing to write home about.
   
Other areas where the roads are in bad shape in Ibadan include Eyin Grammar School, Molete in Ibadan South East local council, Wakajaiye Street and Esokon Community in Egbeda local council.     
 
Another eyesore is Arulogun road that leads to Gospel Town, Ajobo, Idiomo, Omilabu, and Elepe area of Ibadan. The road users lamented that potholes are common sights along the axis. 
 
One of the residents who live in Akinyele local council said, “In the early hours of the evening when more motorists are on the road, traffic builds up because of the bad road spots. This has been so for a while now.”
 
Motorists plying Wofun/Oyeniran Olodo road axis also narrated similar tales of woe when The Guardian visited last week.
 
One of the respondents said the traffic created along Olodo due to the poor state of the roads is hectic. He appealed to Governor Makinde to extend the road rehabilitation exercise to the end. The Guardian gathered that motorists spend hours in the Olodo traffic on a daily basis. 

Ibadan In The Throes Of Refuse Heaps
Refuse heaps is becoming a recurring decimal under the Makinde-led government. In the past few months, the heaps have become a threat to the environment and human lives in Ibadan as it mounts on the medians, with waste disposal trucks barely seen at work.
 
In places such as Bere, Orita to Challenge, Molete to Agodi gate, New Garage to Apata, Sango to Ojoo, Dugbe to Molete, Bodija to the University of Ibadan, Aleshinloye to Dugbe, Sango to Eleyele, refuse heaps are common sight.

 
For example, from Ojoo to Iwo Road, the huge spaces between the roads along the expressway are now waste dumping grounds. The Guardian reliably gathered that no single refuse dumpsite is available for wastes generated in Ojoo, Iwo road and Mokola. While the refuse generated in Ojo and Iwo road market ends up inside the spaces along the expressway, wastes from Mokola residents end up in spaces under the Mokola flyover.
 
It is the same cases of refuse heaps piling up in places like Alako street and Foye Community in Egbeda local council. This is worsened by open defecation around that area.

Another area is Ojoo, adjacent to the Old Ojoo Alakara Police station. The stench the ooze from the heaps of refuse and feaces around that area in Akinyele local council area is nauseating. 

Govt’s Operation ‘Zero Pothole’ Initiative To The Rescue 
BUT in its reaction, the state government said it has commenced Operation ‘Zero Potholes Initiative’ as the State Road Maintenance Agency begins rehabilitation of roads and distilling of drainages across Ibadan metropolis and its environs.

 
The Chairman, Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency, (OYSROMA), Ogunlade Busoye Soladoye, who visited roads earmarked for rehabilitation, disclosed this recently.
   
He said the agency will live up to its mandate of maintaining and rehabilitating roads in Oyo, adding that it would go a long way in easing movement of traffic and creating better environment for the populace.
   
He said Governor Makinde is responsive, contrary to the negative narrative of the opposition in the state. “This is one of our feedback mechanisms concerning the deplorable condition of roads during the rainy season,” Soladoye said.
 
He also stressed that the Seyi Makinde-led administration will give no room for potholes and deplorable roads in the state, as this has shown through various laudable massive road constructions and rehabilitations, which has turned Oyo State to an investors hub.
   
He also implored residents to desist from the act of dumping refuse in waterways, as the agency has started clearing drainages across the state.
 
The government also said it is committed to addressing the spilling of commercial activities onto major roads across the state while it assured residents that it will not relent in addressing the issue of street beggars.