The Deplorable State Of Ogun State Roads

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The Deplorable State Of Ogun State Roads

I’m from Ekiti State. Ekiti does not have the best of roads, but having to pass through core Ogun State some weeks ago, I saw first hand the ‘torment’ and unplanned delay bad roads across Ogun State force on the residents of the state. Ekiti is better; albeit, with roads.

I had travelled planned to have a direct single-bus journey from Ondo State to Lagos State. Getting to Ibadan, my friend called and advised I follow a shorter route to Ikorodu from Ibadan, avoiding the heavy traffic Lagos always present. Maybe I should have declined; but, if I had, I wouldn’t have experienced the hardship people face on Ogun roads. I needed to face it to lend my voice; who knows, I may be heard.

Prior to that time, I don’t recall actually going to Ogun State, save Redemption Camp. And, I sincerely don’t think Redemption Camp can be said to be the responsibility of the state. The church handles everything on the camp. Aside that, I just follow Ibadan, through Ogun in transit, and direct to Lagos. I’ve had nothing to do at Ogun State.

The journey started at about few minutes to 5pm. I got home (at Ikorodu) around 11pm. Even following Ojota, with all the traffic, wouldn’t have been that late. Anyway, it was worth it as it opened my eyes to the backwardness of the state when it comes to good roads, despite being the most industrialized state in the South-West geopolitical zone.

It will shock you to know the same state has produced all of Nigeria’s Presidents and Vice-Presidents from the South West. Yes, all. The state even had an Engineer-Governor in Otunba Gbenga Daniel; yet, they have the worst road-network in the South-West.

Olusegun Obasanjo was military Head of State from 1976-1979 and was civilian President from 1999-2007. Ernest Shonekan was leader of the National Government (before he was toppled by General Sani Abacha) for 83 days in 1993. For the Vice-Presidents: Babafemi Ogundipe (January 1966-July 1966), Olusegun Obasanjo (1975-1975), Oladipo Diya (1993-1997), and Yemi Osinbajo (2015-date). MKO Abiola is somehow said to be Vice to Shonekan (that, I can’t confirm). That’s all from the South-West in the Presidency and all are from Ogun State. Tunde Idiagbon, though Yoruba, is from Kwara State. Kwara State is the North Central geopolitical zone.

To think the state had all of these leaders as indigenes and still have that much bad roads calls for concern. I was (un)fortunate to have followed Sagamu through to Ikorodu, but that road is an eyesore, especially when it rains.

I heard an unconfirmed story about how former President Olusegun Obasanjo saddled then Minister for Works, Adeseye Ogunlewe, with the task of completing Federal roads across the state. How the money meant for the road construction was diverted to other means is a story I can’t tell (since I can’t confirm it). If it’s true, Obasanjo could have held him accountable and brought him to book. Obasanjo Farms has good roads; couldn’t the ‘magic’ done on that ground be done across the state? But, of course, he isn’t really affected.

It is a big shame on the state. Even Obafemi Awolowo is from Ikenne in Ogun State. The Vice-President, although claiming Lagos, will do well to do something about the roads in his state. Dapo Abiodun just started his tenure and could do well to look into that. Prosperity is around the corner.

Aroso Akintomide
Twitter: @tomidearoso

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