Residents, motorists beg for repairs as Ondo inner, federal roads worsen > The deplorable state of both federal and state roads in Ondo State is giving residents and stakeholders in the Sunshine State concern. Specifically, the state-government roads across the 18 local government areas of the state are in worrisome condition as it is having adverse effects on business and commercial activities in the state. Apart from roads in the rural areas which have been abandoned for many years by the present and past administrations, the urban roads are in a similar state. Though the present administration of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has embarked on the rehabilitation and construction of some roads across the 18 council areas in the state, the efforts don’t appear to be enough in ameliorating the plights of the people. It is observed that some of the ongoing works on the road projects have been stopped, and contractors were no more on the sites based on what was linked to paucity of funds. Some of the towns in the state with bad inner roads include, Akure, the state capital, Ikare Akoko, Ore, Arigidi Akoko, Okitipupa, Irele, Ogbese, Akungba Akoko among others. Similarly, it was learnt that the state of disrepair of some state roads in some parts was due to continuous rainfalls and the influx of trucks and lorries that abandoned the damaged federal roads to ply the state roads. The trucks, particularly those from the northern part of the country, had worsened the situation on the bad roads while the government had yet to repair the ones in the affected communities. In the ongoing raining season, many roads were obviously flooded by the rains thereby creating more potholes. In Akure town, some roads in Oyemekun, Oba Adesida roads, Oke Ijebu, Owo, among others are usually in terrible downpours. The residents of Ijoka are lamenting the ongoing construction of the new Idanre-Akure road project. Due to the project, there is no repair of the existing road along the route. In some areas water overflows bridges because of blocked drainages thereby causing more damage to the roads and streets. To this end, some residents of the affected communities have been calling on the state government to find a lasting solution to the problems, saying the situation had affected their social and economic wellbeing. A traditional ruler in Akungba Akoko community in Akoko South-West Local Government Area of the state, Chief Adesegun Ado, lamented that the state of the roads in many areas in his community needed urgent attention. He stated that the development had caused accidents many times when motorists tried to avoid bad portions on the affected roads. He said, “We are calling on the government at all levels, as a matter of necessity, to rehabilitate the bad portions of roads across the federation and particularly in our community. As you can see yourself, there are potholes everywhere on the roads. This is not good enough and something has to be done urgently to tackle the situation. “ He also called on well-meaning sons and daughters of the community to support the government’s efforts in repairing the roads, adding that the resources might not be enough considering the fact that many sectors needed attention. A commercial bus driver, Akeem Aremu, said that driving in some communities in the state had become hellish because of the condition of the roads. He said, “Another deplorable road is the Agbaluku-Arigidi-Akoko to Imo Akoko; a one and half kilometre road which has been abandoned for over 10 years by past administrations in the state. The Ikare- Ikaram-Ajowa road, the Ajowa Ayere road is another terrible axis for drivers who ply the roads often. Criminals sometimes take advantage of the bad roads to kidnap people. “Driving from Akure to Ogbese (in the Akure North Local Government Area) to Owo is always a problem. The bad portions of the road in Ogbese town now are like a swimming pool as flood has taken over the federal road whenever it rains and when the federal road is blocked, we pass through the inner road of the town which are also not motorable, making many vehicles stuck in the mud. “The unemployed youths in Ogbese used that to make money as they are contracted to push faulty vehicles out of the mud for money. That is why we are calling on our governor to help us fix the roads.” A community leader in Ikare Akoko , Chief Olisa Ajakaye, said roads leading to Akokoland were bad. He named some of them as the Ado Ikare, Ikare-Epinmi road and the Kabba-Ajowa Akoko roads. We appeal to our governor and the Minister for Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, to help us to repair the bad federal roads in Ondo State.’’ When contacted on the development, the Federal Controller of Works and Housing, Akure, Olubakinde Olajide, declined comment on the matter, saying as a civil servant, he could not speak without the permission of his boss. Olajide said, “I am a civil servant. I can’t speak on anything without the permission of my permanent secretary. If you want to interview me, you have to write to my permanent secretary in Abuja who will give me the permission to speak with you. After the permission, you can come for the interview.’’ Also, efforts to reach the state Commissioner for Works and Housing, Mr Aminu Raimi, were not successful as his mobile rang out and he had yet to respond to a text message sent as of press time.