Many landlords in Ope-Ilu community of Ogun State have sold their properties due to the extremely bad nature of the Agbado/Ijoko Federal Road in the area.
The unmotorable road which passes through the community located after Giwa junction, has also forced many tenants to abandon rented apartments for accommodation in neighbouring towns.
When Newsbreak visited the community on Tuesday, it was observed that the two-lane road was deserted.
One portion of the road is completely waterlogged, while the other part occupied by heaps of rubble in muddy water, is occasionally used by trucks.
Commercial motorcyclists use the middle of the road meant to serve as the median divider to convey residents.
There was a protest in the area last week Friday by residents of the community over the state of the road, which they alleged was caused by trucks belonging to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), constructing a railway station in the area.
Bashorun Olalekun, one of the community executives, told our Correspondent that the CCECC sold rubbles from demolished buildings to them to pour on the road, which is further damaged by the trucks conveying materials for the construction company to the railway site.
“This is one of the rubble we purchased. We purchased the rubbles from the Chinese company the federal government awarded the railway project at Agbado,” he said.
“Trucks belonging to the Chinese company damaged the road beyond what could be managed. The Ogun State government started work on the road during the administration of Ibikunle Amosun, but it was abandoned after he left. We wrote the Chinese company to help us with rubble since they demolished some buildings, but rather than giving them to us, their staff sold the rubble to us.
“Their trucks use this bad road the most. The economy of this community is now zero. Many landlords have sold their houses here. Some houses here are empty because tenants occupying them too have vacated to go and rent accommodation elsewhere.”
Another exco of the community, Abbas Adeniyi, said the CCECC turned down invitations to deliberate on how to be of assistance to the community, since trucks belonging to the company damaged the road.
He stated that the company sold each truck load of rubble to the community for N45,000.
“The name of the company is CCECC; the company is constructing railway line at Agbado. Their trucks damage this road every day. Anytime we invited them, they didn’t respond. We purchased the rubble from the company.
“The company sold each truck at the rate of N45,000 to us and we have poured about 20 trucks on this road as it is, that is why their trucks can still manage to ply the road. We had to form a group to carry out palliative on this road.
“We’ve been on this matter for about five years now. We’ve appealed to the government, they promised but nothing was forthcoming. We are appealing to the government again. A lot of people have abandoned their cars. Many landlords, tenants have left the community.
“We are currently in August break, they should help us before the rains will start pouring down again,” he said.
Adebayo Adesola, a trader in the community, lamented that the few transport operators in the community overcharge commuters because they use adjoining roads which are also already in bad conditions.
“The situation of this road is bad. We’ve been on it for about three years now. Here to Ijoko is now about N500. What are we selling? Ijoko is not up to 10 minutes to and fro from here if the road is good. But we now spend about one hour because of the situation of the road.
“This road is bad, it’s been given us serious concern. Vehicles take us through adjoining streets to go to Ijoko. We appeal to the government to help us find a solution,” she pleaded.
Chief Mrs Adebimpe Esther, the Iyalode of Ope Ilu, stated that the CCECC has frustrated all efforts of the community to make the road motorable.
“Trucks belonging to the Chinese company damaged this road. We wrote to them, went to Papa, Kajola, Ebute Metta in Lagos, so that the road can be motorable,” she said.
“This water has been on this road for the past three years. We were managing the road, but it got to a time that we couldn’t do so anymore. No small vehicle has been able to use this road for the past one year.
“We spent a lot to evacuate the drainages, so that rain water can flow somewhere. Despite all the effort, trucks belonging to the Chinese company keep damaging the road.
“That was what led to our protest on the road last week, that we won’t allow them use the road. We informed the police about it. The company came too, but the expatriates didn’t come and they (Chinese) were the ones we wanted to see. We purchased a truck of rubble from the company for N40,000.
“We don’t want our community to be completely desolate. Many landlords have sold their houses and left. Many tenants have also moved out. We are begging. We need help.”
A commercial motorcyclist, Abiodun Adenekan, who also spoke to Newsbreak, said despite the bad state of the road, touts (Agberos) still collect N2,000 from each of them (Okada riders) daily.
“This road is too bad. It’s been like this for many years. The stress we face on this road is too much. It hasn’t rained for days now and that is why it is manageable like this. When it rains, it gets flooded. All the adjoining roads we were using are now bad.
“I’m just coming from mechanic workshop. I didn’t spend less than N14,500 on my motorcycle. No motorcycle survives beyond one year on this road. After six months, the motorcycle will begin to get faulty. A motorcycle is now N300,000. The road is bad. Touts will still collect their own money. Each of us pay more than N2,000 on this road daily, despite the state of this road,” he bemoaned.
High Chief Olufemi Olusumade Odunaye, the Baale of Oluodunaye Ikija town, who also spoke to our Correspondent, said the road was manageable until trucks belonging to CCECC constructing company damaged the road.
The monarch bewailed that the environment has become desolate due to the hardship encountered by the people because of the state of the road.
Odunaye said the community has been making efforts to carry out palliative on the road since the state government failed to come to their aid despite promises.
“The length of the road is from Ogba Ayo to Akute, but we the community in Agbado-Ijoko and its environs have taken it upon ourselves to get palliative work done, so that this road can be motorable for our people again because with the condition of the road now, the environment is desolate,” he complained.
“So, no business activity, everything is down. Some landlords have sold their houses and relocated, those that have not relocated, the houses are empty because the tenants have vacated the houses.
“Virtually, everything is down. So when we didn’t see the government coming forward to do the construction work for us, especially when the new government of Dr Dapo Abiodun, we have to take it upon ourselves to fix the road. We’ve been getting promises which have not been forthcoming.
“People are going through pain and hardship, that was why the community decided with the Baales, Kabiyesis and the community that we should see to what we can do. And that is how we’ve been able to come up with the palliative work.
“The Chinese company, the CCECC that is constructing rail project is the problem we are have on this road, the company too doesn’t have any access road to the railway site than this road.”