A group, North Central Professionals for Good Governance (NCPGG) has appealed to Senate President Bukola Saraki to make the reconstruction of the dilapidated Ilorin-Egbe-Kabba-Obajana road a priority to ameliorate the pains of motorists plying the road over the years. Senator Saraki’s convoy on Sunday drove through the much talked about bad roads raising hope of residents that a solution to the road was in sight.
The Ilorin-Omuaran-Egbe-Kabba road played a pivotal role in Nigerian road network linking travellers from South West geo-political zone to the Federal Capital Territory, Northern and the Eastern part of the country.
Although reputed as strategic and economically advantageous to national development and growth, especially that Africa’s largest cement factory (Dangote Cement) at Obajana,, is located along that road, over the years, it has lost its glories having developed heaps, potholes and is completely an eyesore.
Abandoned by many road users who prefered the Ekiti-Kabba route, the road has been taken over by hoodlums who preyed on innocent travellers on daily basis. Economic activities in the communities lining the roads have also shut down. The road was constructed in the 70s and reconstructed in the 90s by the defunct PTF under the late General Sani Abacha regime.
Incidentally, President Mohammadu Buhari headed the PTF under the Abacha regime. Although the road, after years of economic losses, robbery, rape and the attendant cry for government attention, was awarded by the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan, the joys of residents of Okunland, the dominant ethnic group living in the area, who had thought reprieve had finally come, were cut short with the disapprance of the contractors handling the road project, since after the March/April General Elections.
NCPGG Coordinator, Kofo Adegoke in a statement yesterday in Lokoja said “The Senator Bukola Saraki that we know is not just a proactive and responsive leader but a good listener. We believe he would share the agony of road users along Ilorin-Egbe-Kabba-Obajana over the years some of whom are not alive to tell their stories.”
According to Adegoke, “we have always known that the senate president is a leader who is full of action. For him, there is never a dull moment. The much talked about road is not just because it falls within his constituency. But because it is a Nigerian road and the worst in the federation,. We appeal to the senate president to visit Okunland using the road so that he can feel the trauma and agony our people experience on daily basis, ascertain the level of dilapidation for action to be taken.
NCPGG’s long standing support for Saraki to emerge as the president of the senate and chairman of the 8th National Assembly. is based on our conviction that he had the capacity to lead and lead well”. The NCPGG coordinator however noted that although Senator Saraki does not belong to the executive arm, he is expected to synergize with the executive towards finding a lasting solution to the road problems.
Adegoke while pleading with the APC leadership to bury the hatchet and allow Senator Saraki to perform his duties undistracted in his new role as President of the senate and as an indispensable partner of the executive arm. This he said would bring about a reduction in political bickering and more focus on governance.
The group equally appealed to the senate president and his colleagues in the national assembly to make laws for reconstruction of roads where there are similar concerns and harrowing experiences in the country.