Kehinde Adewole and Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
It has been an unpleasant experience plying the roads in Ekiti State.
Many portions of the highways have grown from bad to worse.
Although, Governor Kayode Fayemi hurriedly patched some of the bad spots in the state capital to ease the pains of road users, but such effort turned out to be futile as the roads, in a matter of two, three months, returned to their bad state and even got worse.
Residents are worried about the deplorable condition of the roads full of potholes, doing damages to vehicles and slowing down vehicular movement. Mr Alex Akintola, a commercial driver, said: “Most of the roads in Ekiti State are bad. I ply Ado-Ekiti/Ikare-Ekiti Road everyday. The road is not good at all. The bridge is also another encumbrance.
“The bad condition of the road often results in various degrees of accidents. Also, the bushes on the sides of the roads have grown so tall intruding into the roads this also embarrasses us while we are driving. I am appealing to Fayemi to help fix the roads especially as the festive season approaches.”
Mr Tunde Nkem, a tyre dealer: “Most of the roads in Ekiti are difficult to ply. The roads from Ado-Ekiti through Aramoko-Ekiti to Itawure are very bad. I pray each time I ply those roads and they don’t come with any ease at all.
“Even that bridge at Erio-Ekiti is bad. It is more of a death trap as it is no longer safe for both drivers and commuters. Also, the road to
Fabo junction is in a mess. I am appealing to government to please fix those roads for the safety of users especially, as the Yuletide is coming.”
Mrs Mary Adesanya, a businesswoman: “The roads in Ekiti are full of elongated pot holes. One has to be a good road driver who knows how to manoeuvre his ways to drive on those roads, as you choose which pothole to enter and which to avoid. The potholes also cause traffic hold up along the axis you find them and prolong the journey. I am using this medium to appeal to government to come to our aid and help reconstruct those portions of the roads especially before Christmas.”
Mr Abodunde Blessing, a commercial driver from Omuo Oke-Ekiti, Ekiti East Local Government: “ I ply Ado-Ekiti to Omuo-Ekiti. The roads along these routes have gone bad. The road from Omuo to Ayedun is nothing to write home about. What we have there is more than a pothole, because once a vehicle enters into it, it will be difficult to notice an oncoming vehicle and so a collusion is very possible. I urge Fayemi to please fix those roads, especially, as the festive period is around the corner so that those that will be traveling from far and near and even those that will be traveling from outside the state and country through these routes can enjoy their trips and speak good of the roads in Ekiti.”
Apostle Adebayo Romiluyi, a cleric and businessman: “Some of the roads in Ekiti are bad. They are undulating as they are full of wide and potholes. It is always a bad experience plying them. Our government should help do the needful on those roads. Doing the needful will help reduce accidents on our roads.”
Mrs Funke Ige, a bean cake seller: “For instance, Tinuola area of Housing, Adebayo, Kajola and Olobe in Okesa have bad roads. Every trip embarked on those routes will result in one taking pain relief tablets. On some of those roads, once you approach those portions, you will have to disembark from especially, motorcycle, so that the rider can navigate the bad portions. We appeal to government to help fix those roads before the end of the year.”
Commissioner for Information and Values Orientation, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, reacted: “As regards the roads in Ekiti, the governor is not unaware of the situation of the roads. One thing a lot of people fail to realise is that roads come in a certain hierarchy. There are different types of roads. We have federal, state and local government roads.
“Most of the roads that are totally dilapidated in Ekiti State are Federal Government roads. It is the duty of the Federal Government to repair these roads. The information we are getting right now is that the Federal Government is not very buoyant and that they can’t fix these roads.
“The Federal Government gave a caveat. They told state governors that any governor that fixes any Federal Government road would not get their money reimbursed. So, the best thing is that they leave their roads alone. That is why we are having this situation.
“People don’t know the difference between the federal, state and local government roads, they keep blaming the governor for not fixing these roads. There is no way the governor can go ahead and fix these roads without the permission of the Federal Government.
“It is like your neighbour’s house has weeds and because the weeds are not looking very nice to you and are unsightly, you want to jump over his fence and cut down the weeds in his compound. You don’t have his permission, you cannot do that it is illegal. You cannot go and touch those weeds because they do not belong to you the same thing applies here.
“The governor cannot touch those roads because they don’t belong to him. One of the major roads that is a big challenge for everybody is the Ado-Akure Road. The governor went to the African Development Bank (AfDB) and had a discussion with them on the construction of that road
“The governor a $100,000 loan from AfDB. That road is part of what that loan is packaged for. Now that we have the loan, we need permission to construct the road. After some back and forth, Fayemi secured permission to fix the road. But the Federal Government said they are not going to pay him a kobo back.
Now, where does he get back the money? There has been an agreement between Ondo and Ekiti states to repay the loan with the attached terms and conditions. What they are saying is that if they are going to pay back the loan acquired to fix the road, they should toll the road.
“To put toll gate on the road, the Federal Government has to grant permission. As we speak, permission has not been granted. That is why we have been unable to start the road.
“In all honesty, there are still some state roads that have issues of potholes here and there. Very soon work is going to start on them. And most likely when the new local government chairmen come in, they will be instructed if I can use that word to fix the local government roads, that is the situation.
Roads cannot be fixed during the rainy season. That is the reason no construction was done during that period. As we are gradually getting into the dry season, construction will start on them very soon.”