By Job Osazuwa
Residents of Ayetoro, Binukonu, Lafenwa, Egbejoda and Itele-Awori communities in Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area (LGA) of Ogun State, yesterday, marched through the streets in their area calling on Governor Dapo Abiodun and the Federal Government to fix their dilapidated roads.
While displaying different placards and singing solidarity songs, the people, old and young, lamented they have suffered too many years of neglect by successive governments.
They said the peaceful demonstration became urgent and necessary, particularly as their businesses and other means of livelihood have continued to suffer grave setback.
Vice Chairman of Ado-Odo Ota Zonal Community Development Committee (CDC), Prince Olatunji Olaonapo, said the affected communities spent nothing less than N4 million in 2019 and N8 million in 2020 to provide palliatives on the roads.
He said the roads have been neglected by Ogun State government over the last 10 years.
According to him, the deplorable roads linking Ayobo in Lagos State, through MOPOL Junction and Lafenwa, to Ota in Ogun, spread across Itele, Ayetoro, Binukonu and Egbejoda spanning over 40 kilometres.
He disclosed the majority of people living in the communities were working in Lagos, adding that about 90 percent of the residents of the area were clamouring and calling on National Boundary Adjustment Commission to cede the communities to Lagos if Ogun government was not ready to provide them good roads and other basic amenities.
Olaonapo said Lagos State was magnanimous enough during the former governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration to come to the rescue of the communities by constructing a link bridge between Lagos and Ogun states.
It was learnt that before the intervention, residents of the area were always trapped and cut off from Lagos for days by flood whenever there was a heavy rain.
Olaonapo lamented that every rainy season compounds their woes as most of the roads become impassable.
“Most of the roads have divided into various points as there are no well-constructed gutters to contain the heavy flood. Most of our residents have abandoned their homes for Lagos, as erosion from the heavy floods have submerged their houses.
“In the past, we have written several letters to the authorities to come to our aid. Up till this moment, no presence of any of the governments has been felt concerning our roads.
“The Federal Government can also come to our rescue through its Ecological Funds because there is a federal road connecting Lafenwa and Ota.
“We pay our Value Added Tax and levies regularly, yet we get nothing in return. Many people have sustained injuries on commercial motorcycles that ply the bad routes.
“Many landlords have put up their houses for sale due to the sufferings that we are passing through. It is sad that despite what the government is generating from our area, we are left to continue to suffer this level of hardship,” he said.