Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
It was jubilation galore for the residents of Fajol Junction-Ajegunle-Osara Gbonangun, Abeokuta, Ogun State, when Governor Dapo Abiodun inspected a newly completed 7.1km road in the area.
The road crisscrossed communities in Abeokuta South and Odeda local governments. The road had begged for attention from the previous governments for almost three decades.
Residents in the communities trooped out as the governor and his cabinet members, drove through the road, to ascertain the quality of work done by the contractor handling the project. Community leaders, youths and commercial motorcycle riders were not left out.
Abiodun told his audience: “I will not leave any project abandoned by previous government. Those they funded or abandoned midway will be completed by us. When we were drawing up budget too, we asked for your inputs and these are the roads and projects you chose by yourselves. Infrastructure, especially road, will be given the right attention to open up the state for more economic development.”
The governor equally inspected Oba Erinwole Road, Sagamu, Kuto Flyover, Abeokuta and the service lanes linking the flyover to the NNPC Flyover. He told the gathering:
“Before I came here, I have gone to see the level of work done on this Oba Erinwole Road. This road is very important as it leads to many factories and industries. We awarded the contract for this road in March this year. If not for the pandemic, work would have gone further than this by now. When it is completed, it will alleviate the suffering of the people.”
He said most of the road projects being executed is prioritised by the residents themselves: “For instance, it was part of our inclusiveness that made the people to choose the 7.1km Fajol-Osara-Gbonagun Road. This is an inter-local government road that would link Abeokuta South and Odeda local government areas, as well as act as a bypass to the Abeokuta-Ibadan Road.”
He disclosed that similar projects are on going in Ipokia and Imeko local government areas. He said work would soon commence on the Gbenro-Isashi-Akute Road bordering Lagos State: “The desire is to ensure that the people are able to transverse the length and breadth of the state with ease. Work so far done is a tip of the iceberg.”
Former Senator representing Ogun Central, Gbenga Obadara and state chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Yemi Sanusi, appreciated the governor, adding that the projects would go a long way in enabling the people achieve their aspirations.
Leader of Fajol Community, Alhaji Kafidipe, said the Fajol-Osara-Gbonagun Road had been in a deplorable condition for more than 30 years, appreciating the governor for keeping to his election promise.
For 61-year-old resident of Ajegunle, Olukemi Ogunyomade, the road is a dream come true. The auto lubricants dealer, who disclosed that he moved to the area in 1989, said the road had been a nightmare to the residents of the area, particularly motorists:
“I am highly elated that this road is finally done. I got here in 1989 when I completed my house. There was no road at all; it was one late lawyer, Akintola, popularly known as ‘Baba Seaman’ who opened up the road. But the road, which is a good bypass for people living in upper Obantoko area, Eleweran, Camp and even traveling to Ibadan, had been in bad shape, until the incumbent governor constructed it.
“With this road, people are now moving to develop their property here. Even, value of landed property has more than double.” He, however, appealed to government to construct speed breakers on the new road
A commercial motorcycle rider, Nurudeen Oke, said the road had been used as campaign and election gimmicks to deceive residents into voting for past governments in the state, but nothing was done.
He equally urged government to put humps on the road to slow down speedy drivers, begging for the fixing of Apete-Bode Olude and Aregba-Car Wash roads.
For Mrs Adeola Oduwole, a resident of Osara, the road has further opened up the area to economic and business boon, in the short time it was constructed. She wanted the government to install streetlights on the road, to add to its aesthetics at night.
A barber’s shop owner on Gbonangun Road, Jimoh Muftau, recalled how vehicles used to get stuck on the road and the youths in the community made brisk business by helping stuck motorists. He, therefore, lauded the governor for making the construction of the road a priority.
For the duo of Mrs Abosede Ogunbona and Alhaja Olawunmi Akintunde, the governor has relived them of “pain” of bad road. They submitted that Environmental Sanitation Officers should monitor the road, to ensure residents don’t dump refuse in the drainage to block the water flow.