Monday 25 September 2023

A REMINISCENCE OF IFE ROAD DUALIZATION PROJECT: An Appeal to the Federal Government, President Tinubu.....By Prince Abd.Rosheed Akintibubo


A good road network is identified as the major driver that fosters the much desired economic growth and development of a country or a particular region.It is against this backcloth that I  volunteer this write-up to give vent to the opinions of thousands of residents  of Ile-Ife, the ancient city.

In retrospect, precisely 2016, a 22-kilometer road project was approved by the Federal Government which was to cover Mayfair junction to Lagere-Iremo-Enuwa-Moore-Ilesha bye pass to Osu. The road construction started from OSU (a town located in between Ile-Ife and Ilesha), it was expected to terminate at Mayfair junction as the case may be. 

In 2021, Ife residents were clothed with unbridled joy as KOPEK CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, the contractor handling the project, reported on site. Demolition of shops and houses commenced and continued unstopped, so as to pave the way for the road construction to take place. 

Meanwhile, all houses and other structures concerned had been captured with the hope that each property owner would be adequately compensated. The process progresses from Mayfair junction towards Lagere Post Office to Iremo. The owners of the demolished buildings having realized the refusal of the government to effect the payment, opted for legal actions to seek redress in a court of law. 

We need to be reminded that full payment of the entitlement was done in OSU TOWNSHIP without any delay, what makes Ife an exception? 

This, ostensibly, accounted for the stand-still situation of the road project. Hence, payment of compensation in this matter remains a forlorn hope to the demolished buildings owners in Ile-Ife.

Recently, an unconfirmed report has it that parties in the suit had agreed to settle out of court so that work can resume in earnest. Be that as it may, the delay has wrecked havoc and has created indelible catastrophe in the lives of our people. 

Notably, the rate at which crime is committed is very alarming. Men of the underworld find those dilapidated buildings as their hide-outs to perpetrate their dastardly acts even, in the broad daylight. 

There are cases like robbery/burglary, raping/sexual harassment, kidnapping etc. Residents can no longer sleep with two eyes closed.

Furthermore, many people have been rendered homeless while some are being thrown out of their businesses as a result of the demolition. They were forced to jettison their places of abode; and vacate their shops where they earn their legitimate living. 

Needless to say that it has greatly exacerbated the already battered welfare of the people. Many lives were lost and others resorted to street begging to  keep their bodies and souls together.

Moreover, of greatest concern is the motor and okada accidents through which many have met their untimely death. There were also cases of severe and fatal injuries sustained from road accident that were connected with the poor state of the roads. 

Hence, virtually all the roads in Ile-Ife could safely be called ‘death-traps’. These ugly trends seem unending for the authority concerned are obviously indifferent to our plights.

It is an indisputable fact that Ile-Ife is the capital city of Yorubaland but it is apparently shameful to have found itself in this retrogressive state in historical colloquialism. It has been stripped of the exquisiteness of old and it is as if the spirit of our forebears have parted us. This is so because Ile-Ife has not been properly placed to justify the acclaimed “the source” or “Olori Aye Gbogbo”. 

It is however regretting that all efforts being put in place by His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, are being frustrated due to the deteriorating state of our ancestral home.

Albeit, all hope is not lost if our leaders and other stakeholders could demonstrate high sense of patriotism and inculcate habit of attitudinal change toward the ancient town.

As regards the deplorable condition of our roads and other infrastructures, it is pertinent at this juncture, to appeal to the Federal Government under President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to rescue us from this seemingly insurmountable manacle in which we are being tethered before it goes out of hands. We implore President Tinubu to swiftly put in place a pro active mercenary that will ensure speedy completion of the abandoned road project; and also design a way to wipe the tears of the property owners affected in the area by the project.

Succintly, we are optimistic that intervention of Mr. President remains the condicio sine qua non in ameliorating the untold suffering of the people in Ile-Ife. By this, our impoverished economy would be revivified and it will help to galvanize and stabilize our security architecture.

Prince Abd.Rosheed AKINTIBUBO,Writes from Ile-Ife,Osun State.08064689134.

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