Ekiti Group Sends SOS to Works Minister on Federal Road Gridlock

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By Olusegun Obisanya

The Federal Government has been called upon to provide an urgent succour for residents of Ekiti State communities, who have not only been cut off from one another but their economic activities are expectedly suffering due to gridlocks caused by dilapidated and neglected federal roads.

The call was made by Ayebode Progressive Association (APA), a development organ of Ayebode-Ekiti, one of the badly affected communities located within Ekiti North Senatorial District of Ekiti State.

In a statement signed by the Group’s spokesperson, Mr. Femi Owoeye, the group explained that, for over seven weeks, incessant trailer traffic standstill has constituted health and security risks for communities located within Ikole and Ekiti East local governments.

In particular, APA urged the Minister of Works, Dr. David Umahi, to incorporate Ekiti State Federal Roads in his ongoing inspection tour and mapping of critical federal road infrastructure begging for urgent intervention.

The group lamented that network of federal roads, which naturally should have been a blessing to the state and its people, have been a curse, suggesting that successive federal ministers of works possibly missed the state on their radar.

 “The result is a federal road network in perpetual dilapidation, often cutting neighbouring communities away from one another,” it explained, adding, “If the minister would, for example, approach Ekiti through the Kabba-Omuo-Ikole axis, he would get stuck at Ayebode-Ekiti,  which is currently cut off from OdoAyedun-Ekiti, the next town both in Ikole LGA.

“Between the two towns, commuters from either side now come down at a forced terminus mid-way, because of the gullied federal road and make the rest of their journey on foot or simply go back.

“It is similar experiences on the other federal roads criss-crossing the state, namely: Akure-Ado; Ado-Aramoko-Ilesha; Ado-Ifaki-Otun-Omu-Aran; Ilesha-Aramoko-Ijero-Ido-Ifaki-Ikole; and Ado-Ikare.

“Yet, these roads have made Ekiti State the veritable but dilapidated thoroughfare for people, goods and services to the North of Nigeria through Kogi for a large part of the Southwest and five surrounding states.”

APA, therefore, appealed to the Hon. Minister Umahi and the Federal Government of Nigeria to urgently free up the gridlock, which has stretched from Omuo through Ayebode-Ekiti, Ayedun-Ekiti, Ikole-Ekiti and Ijesa Isu-Ekiti, heading towards Iluomoba-Ekiti.

“In the light of the foregoing and the implications for the welfare, safety, security and the economic wellbeing of the state and Nigeria at large, the federal government should please, in the 2014 budget, make a provision for rehabilitation, upgrade and reconstruction of the federal roads in Ekiti State, being a major transit route to the nation’s federal capital,” the group added.

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