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How not to repair roads

By Adekunle Aliyu
It was like they were all thinking alike. So one after the other they expressed anger at the crater-like potholes that punctuated the road, making movement difficult for buses and other vehicles.

One of the commuters  could barely contain his anger. “What the hell is the LCD boss of this area doing? He must surely be a novice in road management and maintenance for doing this,” he burst out,  pointing at the patched portions of the road and the flying dust.

Another was to interrupt thus: “Don’t mind the man;  we had small potholes before, but  he has turned them into craters all in the name of fixing the roads”.

The bus driver interjected: “The potholes here are dodge one get two, no three free. And before yu know it your tyres are gone all because we refused to do the right thing”.

He did not stop there.  “Our government officials think  that we are all be mumu, abi? Why should somebody just come and say he has spent such a great sum in fixing road in this area and we can’t see the impact of the amount he said he has spent?” he queried.

Another fellow in the front row seat of the bus intoned: “I don’t know the kind of government we have in Nigeria. Look at the Benin-Ore road. So  much is said to have been spent on it and yet we go through a lot of harrowing experiences driving on it.

“This our LCDA boss”, he continued,  “three years ago he planted trees at the centre of this same  road;  the trees did not see the light of day. He did the same two years ago and with the same result: the trees were ruined by lack of proper care.

“This year he constructed street lights  on the same road,” he said pointing through the windows. “See what is left  of those trees he planted; they have been destroyed.  I knew from the onset that the whole exercise will come to nothing except to enrich somebody. It was not for the benefit of the road users. I can bet you that the lights had never been put on once. Abi anybody don see the light on before ?”

A woman shouted from the centre of the bus: “The problem on this our Ikotun- Cele route  will need EFCC to probe all the work they said  they have done for us. I know why we will continue to suffer on this route like this. If you see the thing they used in  constructing the street lights you go know say them want make the thing spoil so that them go take money do another one but who wan ask them question?     All of them, no be thieves them be?”

James the driver said: “Na God go punish those bad leaders wey choose to punish us for nothing; wey steal our money, all of them na him God go pay them back ten fold”.

It was obvious that the LCDA chairman in question was not particularly popular among the passengers in the bus. Reason being that unlike what usually obtains in such  discussions none of the passengers spoke in his defence. However, the angry passengers also had strong words of condemnation for other tiers and levels of government for not acting in the interest of the people.


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