Timothy Adewuyi

Residents of some communities in Ogun State have asked Governor Ibikunle Amosun to fulfill his promise of completing the 32-kilometre Sango-Ojodu Road construction project before the next raining season.

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Amosun had promised the residents that he would complete the project during his inspection of the area on September 24, 2016.

Residents of Alagbole, Akute, Agbado and Ijoko communities in the Ifo and Ado-Odo/Ota local government areas told PUNCH Metro that they were happy when Amosun restated his administration’s commitment to end the hardship they were going through because of the road.

However, when our correspondent visited the areas on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, it was observed that contractors had not returned to the site and the work was still on hold.

A commercial tricycle rider, who wanted to remain anonymous, said, “Many people heard the governor when he promised to complete all overhead bridges on Sango-Ojodu Road before March 2017. We cannot really be happy until we see it done.

“But I think that if the governor cannot complete the project, he should at least give us good access roads. It is impossible to ride on the road for a week without our tricycles breaking down.”

The Patron, Akute Area Community Development Council, Alhaji Sonni Mubarak, described the government’s assurance to complete the road as a welcomed development.

He said, “Self-help has been our practice in this area.  But if the government can complete this road project as promised, a lot of improvements will come in.

“I am aware of many who have packed away from Akute because of this road. I can also mention others who had to sell their property in this area.

“Many residents can’t drive their cars anymore. Transport fares have skyrocketed. The economy and social life of the people in this society are gradually dying as a result of the bad road.”

Another commuter, a civil servant, said the government should back its pronouncement with action.

She said, “When I heard, I felt that there was hope in sight. I nearly suffered heart attack on September 4, 2016, when those big stones at Alagbole under bridge made my car to bounce off the road into the river.

“Though I am grateful to God for saving me and my children; till now I have yet to fix the car.”

However, some of the residents expressed reservations about the proposed Public-Private-Partnership, which they alleged was mentioned by Amosun during his visit.

A resident, Mr. Olu, said, “We heard that the governor said toll may be introduced when the road is completed. Well, let them first complete the road.

 “We also heard that the road is one of the megacity roads and that our government will collaborate with Federal Ministry of Works.”

Some motorists and community leaders in the communities also claimed that they heard the governor say the people might be asked to pay toll when the road was completed.

They added that the state government could conveniently complete both the road and the bridge within the time frame if it wished.

The Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Dayo Adeneye, when contacted, described the issues of toll collection and collaboration with FG as mere rumours, adding that such should be dismissed.

When asked if there were any secret plans for the road, Adeneye said, “I cannot confirm that to you now. I have to confer with the Ministry of Finance and Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure.

“But I know that the government exists to serve the people, and no reasonable government will do any big thing without releasing a press statement to that effect.

“If toll will be required, it won’t be done without adequately sensitising the public. It won’t be done overnight.

“Also, if there is going to be any collaboration with the FG, we will say it.”

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