By Olumide Lawal
The Ede major federal road, known as Babangida Way, is right now in a state of total collapse. The road stretches from State Hospital junction to Oke-Gada end of the town. It carries heavy volume of human and vehicular traffic, since the town boasts of two world-class universities – Adeleke University, Redeemer University and a Federal Polytechnic. But for heaven knows what, the township road under reference, has for a long time been subjected to complete abandonment and disrepair and it calls for serious concern.
This very important road therefore requires very urgent attention of and swift action by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) as well as the Nigerian Railway Corporation, all with a view to reducing the agonies, presently encountered by commuters that daily ply the road. The residents and visitors that pass through the Babangida Way on regular basis have resigned to fate, believing that one day; a “messiah” will come to their rescue and do the needful rightfully.
A journey of ten minutes from one end of the road to the other, now takes not less than thirty minutes, because some corridors of the road, such as Oba Laoye/Mosebolatan; Adelebare junction; Arinago junction; Daodu/Ile Pere/Wema Bank; Total Petrol Station frontage; The Railway “level” crossing and the Oke-Gada axis are menace and nightmare to whoever uses the road. They have been turned into deep gullies and craters, which can literally ‘swallow’ up any vehicle of whatever description. For those who missed the PALONGO dance of the 60s, they should try a ride on the Ede major township road and they would have a tale to tell.
So many avoidable accidents, involving Okada riders on some of the portions of the road, have sent innocent citizens to their early graves or been permanently disabled. This is in addition to wear and tear, attendant on motor vehicles, particularly the mini-bus operators, called KOROPIN, who have no choice, but to ply the road, more than fifteen or more times on daily basis – seven days a week. Private vehicle owners, no matter the brands of their luxurious automobiles, are not spared the agony. Everybody keeps on complaining of waist pains and spinal cord palava.
Oh God Almighty, from whence cometh our help in this situation, except You alone, to touch the hearts of those, who should do their jobs and do it rightly. The state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in the course of his second term governorship mega campaign rally, at Adventist Grammar School Ede, in July 2014, entered into a covenant with Ede people to the effect, that by January 2015, he would commence the dualisation of the very road under reference, in appreciation of Ede people massive support for him. Whether that promise will materialize tomorrow, remains to be seen.
We don’t even mind, if Ogbeni Aregbesola government will avail us asphalt overlaying and construction of drains on the badly damaged portions of the road, before FERMA and Nigerian Railway Corporation will swing into full action, since the buck stops on their tables. Over to you, our Honourable Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fasola, under whose portfolio the road falls.
Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, through its State Controller in Osogbo, should put all necessary machineries in motion and deploy his officers to alleviate the suffering of the commuters that are voiceless. Our various political office holders from Ede axis at the state and national assemblies should please help us out, by pulling the necessary strings to call the attention of relevant state and federal authorities to the near collape situation of Babangida way, Ede.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation ‘level’ crossing at Oke-Gada, is already a death trap for vehicular movements. More often than not, motor vehicles got stalled or hooked at the railway “level” crossing, which has completely caved in. Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amaeche, Minister of Transportation, whose office oversees Nigerian Railway Corporation, should urgently take a trip to Ede and see things for himself. The level crossing at Olaiya Junction and Old garage at Osogbo, are in harmony with motorists. Why should Oke-Gada, Ede railway “level” crossing be otherwise. What is good for the goose should also be a sauce for the gander. We deserve and desire pleasurable rides on Babangida Way, Ede without further delay.
To improve the condition of our roads nationally, President Mohammed Buhari, should seriously tap into exploitation of Bitumen at Agbab=u in Ondo State, so as to make production of asphalt for tarring our roads, including the failed Ede township road a lot easier.
Infact, a state of emergency should be declared on Ede township road that goes by the name – Babangida Way.
Olumide Lawal Lives in Ede, Osun State