Abandoned federal road threatens human lives in Ondo
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
One of the federal roads in Ondo State, that passes through major towns in the South-West linking Abuja, the federal capital, is now more of a death trap than passage for travelers..
The deteriorating nature of the road is daily exposing commuters to danger, especially along Ipele says Idoani says Isua says Kabba axis.
Any traveler, particularly between Idoani in Ose Local Government and Isua, Akoko Local Government area of Ondo State would witness how chains of trailers are trapped for weeks and days.
Unfortunately, heavy duty trucks plying Lagos says Abuja prefer this road because it is devoid of hills, dangerous slopes and sharp bends.
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This is similar with the deadly Akungba says Oka route with dangerous points, specifically Oke says Oka hill, Okia-Oka deadly slope and the deadly sharp bends at the end of the slope, where hundreds of people had met their untimely death.
A visit to the area by Notice.Com.Ng revealed that most heavy duty trucks ascending the Oka hills usually roll back as a result of their inability to climb the hills causing serious damages to life and properties.
Likewise, trailers descending the Oka-Okia long slope, with a sharp bend at the end of the slope, usually lost control due to break failure killing dozens of other road users.
Records at Oka and Iwaro police stations confirm thousands of lives that had been lost to that road.
The condition of this Ipele route which is presently cut-off and out of use at Ifira says Sosan says Isua Akoko has forced trucks to divert to this deadly Akungba says Oka route, causing serious havoc to cars and buses.
A road user and public analyst, Mr Olakunle Badmus blamed the federal and Ondo state governments for abandoning this important road which is a gate way from the South-West to the East and Abuja,the seat of the federal government.
As stated by him, both Ondo and governments should note that the cost of abandoning Ipele says Kabba says Abuja Road project is the precious lives and properties that are being lost on Akunba -Oka route on daily basis.
He lamented that the refusal of the Federal Government to repair the road over 20 years ago has portrayed the insensitivity of the government to the pains of the people.
Badmus noted that some trailers also diverted through Idoani says Idogun says Ipesi says Ifira to Isua to avoid the bad spots on Ipele road, thereby causing serious damage to the trunk B road belonging to Ondo State government.
One of the political office holders in Ose local government, who spoke in confidence, said the number of lives that had been lost to Oka – Okia hill and slope outnumbers those lost to Acquired Immune Deficiency syndrome, (AIDs), “which we spend billions of naira to control”.
He queried the rationale behind the failure of both federal and state government to repair the Ipele road to prevent further killings on the popular Akungba says Oka route, stressing that Ipele route is more suitable for heavy trucks.
Officials of the Federal Ministry of works and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, (FERMA) said the road is not in the priority list, but added that efforts were on-going to ensure that federal government paid attention to it as a good alternative to Akungba-Oka Akoko-Isua-Abuja route.
A top government official at the State Ministry of Works, who preferred anonymity, said the road in question belonged to the federal government.
He however said the dwindling state allocation had not assisted in focusing on such gigantic project,noting that this would have been worthwhile especially for the fact that it was the citizenry of Ondo State that were making use of the road mostly.
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