There was a protest on Saturday in the Olokuta area of Abeokuta, Ogun State, over the deplorable condition of the road linking Prof Wole Soyinka Train Station.
Apart from the train station, it was gathered that the road connects about 52 communities in the area under Abeokuta South Local Government.
Residents carrying placards with various inscriptions lamented the state of the road which they said had claimed lives and paralysed socio-economic activities in the area.
Some of the inscriptions read “Watch out!!! Total rehabilitation of train station road,” “Please save us from Olokuta bad roads,” “All business activities are now paralyzed along Olokuta- train station route”, “Joint Communal effort not enough again, please save our soul,” “We hardly get savings as a result of the bad train station road,” among others.
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One of the community leaders, Chief Ezekiel Olushola, told newsmen a student and one pregnant woman have lost their lives due to the poor condition of the road.
“For instance, there was a student coming from a school at Kemta, and there was a truck coming, because of the bad road, the driver wanted to maneuver from a bad spot and unfortunately, he hit the student and he died,” he said.
Olabisi Ogundipe, who is the Secretary of Cab Operators at the train station, said “On a daily basis, we visit our mechanics, just for minor and major repairs on our vehicles. We find out that at the end of the day, when you calculate what you have gained in your pocket, you would have spent over 70% of the income on the maintenance of the vehicle.”
The Chairman of the communities in the area, Babatunde Folarin said about N20 million had been spent by the residents in order to fix the road he described as a disaster.
Folarin said, “It’s glaring, this is an ecological disaster affecting the communities and over 52 communities are in this area. This road is totally cut off. What else can we do?
“The economic viability of this area has been destroyed. This is a disaster. It’s a failed road. This road is less than three kilometres. We have tried our best. We have done palliatives. We have called people for donations, but right now the residents are tired, we are broke.”
He called on Governor Dapo Abiodun and the Federal government to urgently fix the road in order to ameliorate suffering of users.