Confronted with an admixture of the good news and the bad news, a discerning mind may want to pitch his tent with the bad news first, knowing the next one cannot be worse.
The reason why as a stakeholder in this Gateway State, I have to call the attention of Ogun State Government under the leadership of our Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun over the deplorable state of the road from Okun – Owa through Agoro – Ikangba – Ijebu – Ode in Odogbolu Loca Government of the state.
This road used to be the numero uno in South West Nigeria in those days as it begins from Lagos through Ikorodu to Ogijo, Sagamu, Ikenne, Odogbolu, Okun – Owa to Ijebu – Ode down to Benin City and beyond.
It enhanced development and commerce in all these communities before the Lagos through Sagamu to Benin expressway was constructed.
In my dear community, Okun – Owa where my mother of blessed memory sold fish and bush meat in the sixties seventies and eighties, i had the rare opportunity of prostrating to greet personalities such as late sage , Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his wife, Chief Hannah Dideolu Awolowo, our revered monarch, the Awujale of Ijebuland, His Royal Majesty, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona and the first Chief Justice of Nigeria, Late Justice Sir Adetokunbo Ademola and a host of other dignitaries.
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I will lean on their glamorous vehicles while they do the bargain with my mother of the fish and bush meat they want to purchase.
Those dignitaries will advise me to take my studies seriously and they were the source of inspiration and motivation for me , they were also the source of finance through trading activity for my parents, to comfortably educate me and my younger brother.
This may have been the scenario in most homes and communities along this corridor when that road was motorable.
Gapping hopes now litter this short road to Ijebu – Ode, immediately after driving past Okun – Owa community.
Robbers and other shady characters do visit that corridor often because of this deplorable road and it has affected commerce negatively as most motorists now prefer to go through the Sagamu to Ijebu – Ode to Benin expressway.
Commuters are now at the mercy of motor cycles riders (and at exorbitant charges too) in plying this once upon a time, glittering , quality road.
But for the significant failed portions on that road, it used to be a standard of how strong our federal roads should be as it was constructed by the Obafemi Awolowo administration in the defunct Western Region of Nigeria.
Another deplorable road I visited of recent was the Ijebu Ode to Omu road. It was horrible and did a lot of damage to one’s vehicle.
However, the Ogun State Government has assured us that there is a partnership with Dangote Industries whose Ibeju Lekki refinery is along that corridor to reconstruct this road.
I plead fervently and hope too that Governor Dapo Abiodun will fix the Okun – Owa to Ikangba to Ijebu – Ode road that featured in the budget of past administrations but was not implemented.
Now, the good news.
I last plied the Ijebu – Ode through Mojoda to Odoragushin near Epe about two years ago.
It was a hell on earth driving through the 14 kilometres portion that falls in Ogun State ,while after the boundary, it was paradise on earth driving to the portion that falls in Lagos State.
The story has now changed for good. This road has not just been reconstructed but it is now an expressway.
You enjoy smoothness of the road, serenity and the beauty of green vegetation as you cruise along this “inviting ” road that the President, Muhammadu Buhari commissioned recently.
A tortuous journey of over one hour from Ijebu – Ode to Epe can now be done within 25 minutes to 30 minutes at the most. Kudos to Dapo Abiodun’s administration.
The reconstruction of the 42 kilometres Sagamu Interchange to Abeokuta expressway with restored electricity is also worthy of commendation.
Even though this expressway dualised by the administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel’s administration was still in a manageable situation, the reconstruction was marvelous and it is an excellent example of the culture of maintenance.
It is also thumbs up to Dapo Abiodun for reviving Ogun Road Management Agency , now called Ogun State Public Works for the purpose of utilising engineers and other technicians in Ogun State Public Service in maintenance works, rather than contracting all jobs out.
There is now prompt maintenance of failed portions on the Sagamu to Ijebu – Ode expressway, a credit to the Federal Government and Ogun State Government too.
It is also encouraging news that Governor Abiodun is not abandoning projects his predecessors embarked on but rather he has been completing them.
The 25 kilometres Ilaro to Iwoye to Owode in Yewa South Local Government, the 24 kilometres Ikenne to Ilishan to Ijesa – Ijebu to Ago – Iwoye, the 3.8 kilometres Togunrin to Tigare Agodo road in Ogun Waterside and 1.8 kilometres Esure – Mushin road in Ijebu – East LGA , I read in the newspapers are being constructed.
Most Township roads in Ijebu – Ode and Sagamu have been fixed. I drove on those roads recently and saw it.
Kudos on the Kobape and Oke Mosan Housing Estates, completion of Judiciary Complex etc…
However, the real icing on the cake is the determination of this administration to bring into fruition the take off of Ogun State Agric Cargo airport before the end of this year.
“I watched with delight as the Ogun State Governor beamed with smiles as he stated that at least 25,000 people will be gainfully employed at this Agric Cargo airport when it takes off.”
“I will urge Mr Governor to please increase the momentum of development in Ogun State as there are still a lot to be done.”
Editorial Discretion: This article was written by Sina Ogunbambo, a Journalist and Public Affairs Analyst, he can be reached on email@example.com. The views expressed therein are entirely of the writer and not Eaglesforesight’s Echo.
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