By Demola Akinyemi, Ilorin
WORRIED by the poor state of the Ajase-Ipo/ Offa Road in the southern part of Kwara State, the legislators representing the area in the State House of Assembly, have dragged the Attorney-General of the country and the contractor handling the reconstruction of the road to the Federal High Court for allegedly abandoning the construction/rehabilitation of the road.
Specifically, Messrs Saheed Popoola and Hassan Oyeleke representing Ojomu Balogun and Eesa,Shawo and Igboodun constituencies respectively, alleged that the contractor, Preconsmith Construction Ltd, collected 13 percent mobilization from the Federal Government and still went ahead to abandon the road project.
In the suit documented as FHC/IL/CS/64/2015, the legislators through their counsel, Mr. Oluwaseun Ijaodola further alleged that having been mobilized by 13 percent of the contract sum by the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Works, the contractor shoddily bulldozed the roads, with its various signboards on the roads and abandoned the project since the past three years.
The lawmakers further claimed that the contractor ”callously abandoned the site, three seasons of heavy rainfall had hit the part shoddily bulldozed by the contractor which has put the road in a worse condition than it was before the contract was awarded and made the part practically impassable”
They also claimed that because the Federal Government had already awarded the contract to the contractor, the Kwara State Government cannot award same contract to another contractor.
The duo averred that the Attorney -General of the federation should use its statutory powers to compel the contractor to return to site immediately after the rainy season because lives of people living in the areas and those earning their livelihood including the lawmakers, had been negatively impacted.
They claimed that in the course of plying the roads as a matter of compulsion from Offa to Ilorin to perform their legislative duties, their vehicles were damaged and the repairs cost them N1.5million.
Because of the appalling nature of the road and its impassability, all vehicles especially commercial vehicles have boycotted the Ajase-Ipo axis and are now accessing Offa through Ogbomosho/Iwo road in Oyo state thereby hurting/paralyzing the commercial activities of the affected communities, that is, Irepodun,Oyun, and Offa Local Government Areas of Kwara State, “ the further claimed.
Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the Kwara State Governor, Dr Muideen Akorede has expressed serious concern over the deplorable condition of the Ajase-Ipo/Offa Road.
Akorede who hails from Offa, said, ‘The Kwara State Government is seriously concerned about the state of Federal Government roads such as Offa-Ajase-ipo and Jebba/Boda Saadu roads and appeals to the Federal Government to immediately intervene in view of their negative effects on our people and commerce in those affected areas’’
Also reacting to the poor state of the road, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Demola Banu who hails from Ajase-Ipo, told Vanguard Homes & Property that the deplorable conditions has inflicted economic hardships the entire state.