Erosion: Lawmaker Seeks Urgent Intervention for Esa-Oke Roads


  • Threatens legal action against Ibadan Disco

By Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

The lawmaker representing Obokun/Oriade federal constituency of Osun state, Hon. Oluwole Oke has called on the Federal Ministries of Power, Works and Housing and Environment to take urgent steps to reconstruct the Esa-Oke-Esa-Odo roads, which are being threatened by erosion.

The urgent intervention, Oke noted, is necessary as Esa-Oke is a major transit route to other towns around the region and to the Northern parts of the country.

Oke, in a motion brought before the House recently, added that Esa-Oke and its neighbouring communities already have significant portions of their land being washed away by erosion, a development which is negatively impacting the environment and ecology of the affected communities, including the suitability of the soil for farming purposes.

“This motion observes that as a result of the magnitude of environmental and economic damage so far suffered by the affected communities, the matter can no longer be adequately tackled by the Osun State Government;”

“Concerned that if urgent steps are not taken to stem the negative tide, entire communities may be wiped out and an important access road will be completely destroyed,” he said.

Adopting the prayers of the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Works and Environment and Habitat to ensure the inclusion of the projects in the 2017 budget.

Speaking with THISDAY, Oke lauded the State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for ensuring temporary management of the roads through the Rural Roads Mobilising Project, under a World Bank facility.

“…but this can only ameliorate the situation for a while; once the rains start, the roads become impassable. Truth is the state government cannot afford to fix it, hence the appeal to the Federal Government,” he said.

The lawmaker, who is also House Committee Chairman on Public Procurement, noted that the community possesses significant mineral deposits, and agricultural potentials which cannot be harnessed due to the state of the roads.

In another development, Oke has threatened legal action against the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (Ibadan DISCO) for disconnecting Esa Oke, for over two months, on the grounds that youths of the community protested against its activities.

Oke accused the electricity company officials of extortion and allegedly stealing five transformers belonging to the community, two of which he had donated.

“They are fond of giving meters without receipts, and giving shops N3,000 monthly bills without receipts. These led to the protests. There is a tertiary institution in the town and so the students rent houses but they are moving away because of the disconnection. Artisans cannot work, businesses are being affected” he added.

The lawmaker threatened to take legal action against the electricity distribution company if electricity is not restored to the town in seven days.