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Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

How Makinde ended centuries of pain with 76km road in one year – residents of Ogbomoso-Iseyin

By Vaseline May30,2024

THE age-long saga of the agony of community residents along the Iseyin-Ogbomoso road, especially in transporting their farm produce to market, has become a thing of the past with the construction of a long 76km Iseyin-Ogbomoso road. Soji Ajibola recently completed a tour and writes about its impact on beneficiaries.

Infrastructure development, especially the construction of roads connecting various communities in the three senatorial districts of the state, remains the top priority of the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration.

In the last five years, an average of 600 km of roads comprising intra- and inter-city roads have been rehabilitated and constructed on virgin land in the 33 local government areas of the state. Some of the roads are; Moniya-Iseyin road, Theophilus Akinyele road, Onipepeye road, Oyo-Iseyin road, Ibadan-Airport road Olorunsogo-Akanran road, Eruwa road to name a few.

This development has endeared the current administration to the hearts of the people as many have noted the economic impact and other benefits to the affected communities. Most rural communities in the three senatorial districts are now developing at a rapid pace as government infrastructure policies gradually put an end to rural-urban migration.

Most communities had been abandoned before the arrival of the current administration as they were inaccessible due to poor roads and lack of other basic amenities. Farmers in the affected communities were the hardest hit as poor roads prevented them from transporting their agricultural produce to the nearest market. In addition, some of the products became spoiled during the process, resulting in an unquantifiable loss.

After noting the importance of the agricultural sector to the state’s economic growth, the Governor Makinde-led government decided to open up rural areas through massive road rehabilitation/construction. One such project is a newly constructed 76km Iseyin-Ogbomoso road that seemed like a dream to residents that will never become a reality.

Many governments in the past had promised motorable roads to the various communities falling within the axis, but this never materialized. When Governor Makinde, upon assuming office, made a similar promise, they viewed it as a political talk that would not materialise, but were shocked when workers were mobilized to the site.

With the construction of the Iseyin-Ogbomoso road, Makinde becomes the first governor in the political area of ​​the state to build a long 76km road on virgin land. Furthermore, the project was completed within a year despite the fluctuating monthly allocation from the federation account caused by the economic depression.

To ensure quality work, the contract was awarded to the two giant construction companies, KOPEK and Craneburg, without considering costs. The community residents who fall within the axis attested to the quality of the job as they described it as a longer term job.

The value of properties in the affected areas has also witnessed a geometric increase as a piece of land that used to sell for N150,000 now goes for between N1m and N1.5m. It has also eased traffic congestion along the Oyo-Ogbomoso-Ilorin road as motorists now see the newly constructed road as an alternative.

Former Commissioner for Public Works of Oyo State, Professor Raphael Afonja, commended Governor Makinde’s policy on infrastructural development while stating: “It is important that we understand that the basis behind Governor Makinde’s vision on infrastructure development is to To connect Oyo State to empower farmers, entrepreneurs, miners and all who have access to opportunities that can make the state economically viable.

“Opening new avenues means giving people the opportunity to access new spaces, new lands in places that have never been seen as places where there could be opportunities to house some kind of business.

In his assessment, Comrade Alhaji Rafiu Elewa, Chairman of Unit 2 PMS, Express, Iseyin, said: “We appreciate this because it used to take drivers four to five hours to reach Ilorin. We used to go to Oyo first and then to Ogbomoso to connect Ilorin and everyone knows the condition of that road. We never thought we would ever be able to travel to Ogbomoso or Ilorin without reaching Oyo first, but that has now happened. The people of Oke-Ogun are happy with this development.

“Now we can get to Ogbomoso from here in an hour and thirty minutes. And for those going to Ilorin, it can take up to two hours. We therefore commend Governor Makinde for this great achievement, which will positively impact our lives.

“Since the government completed the road, traffic has increased on the road as people now prefer to pass through the route. Those coming from the North and other parts of Southwest are now using the road as it is convenient for them.”

A hotelier and the Adimula of Iseyinland, Chief Ifasoji Fashola, said: “I am very happy with this project. When I started a hotel project on this route, many people told me that I should not have built a hotel in an undeveloped area. But as Babalawo, I had consulted Ifa and Ifa told me that a road would come here, but I didn’t know when.

“I have owned the land for a long time and I wondered what to do with it. Ifa told me to build a hotel. I also almost felt discouraged because the small road in the area was impassable.

“When I told my friends that Ifa said I should build a hotel on this land; Some of them said Ifa was lying, but I said I would follow Ifa’s dictate. Some of them even mocked me that I was building a hotel for ghosts and that continued until we heard that Governor Makinde wanted to build this road. Nobody thought that a government would open this road in twenty or thirty years because it is a new road. It was a surprise for us. Let me also say that when I started building the hotel, people told me to use all my land and I told them that Ifa said there would be a road through here and I didn’t want to have any problems. When they opened the way; the contractors were surprised that I left a major setback.

“I appreciate our governor; he is a happy man. There is no amount of prayers that anyone can offer that will suffice except wherever he is; I’m sure his prayers will always be answered because he did what makes people happy. When I came here about fifteen years ago, land was sold for a very cheap amount, but today if you go to buy land near the road, you have to spend millions. Before the road was built, the highest cost for a piece of land was N250,000 but it is now about 10 times higher. The area has been gentrified and people have built houses.

“The governor has done a good job. May God stay with him. Look at the number of people who will walk this path and make a living on this path. The road has also reduced the stress of passing through Oyo to access Ogbomoso and Ilorin. Anyone going to Ogbomoso or Ilorin just go straight. We are grateful to the governor for his commitment to the development of the state.”

In AGIP Area, Iseyin, where the road started, one of the residents Lateef Suliyat, a fabric seller in Iseyin, when asked how she dealt with the dust before the construction of the Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road, said: “We had no other choice than to continue trading, even with the poor condition of the road at the time. You know, we had to survive.

“What I have always done is to ensure that clothing materials, especially white ones, are not visible, so that they do not become dirty or rough before customers buy them. But with the path the government has taken, things have changed. We appreciate Governor Makinde repairing the road for us.”

Alhaji Salaudeen Bamidele, a resident of Iseyin, said: “Our governor is keeping his promises and he has done extremely well. This road project is very commendable and we are all happy about it. I pray that God will continue to strengthen him. Where I am currently is called ‘Ile Ago’. This road was not like this before, but when the time came for the government to repair it, we cooperated and now we are enjoying it. Although some structures have been affected, we appreciate the development we are witnessing in Iseyin today.”

Adeleye Akinkunmi, another resident of the area, said: “I was born in Ahoro Dada and was educated there before leaving for Ogbomoso. From here to Ogbomoso there was only one way; We used to go to Odo-Oba before we could reach Ogbomoso. But when the governor constructed this road, we were very happy with the development. This new road used to be a dense forest. There used to be no road here, not even a footpath. Now the bush has turned into a road.

“Before the road was completed, a piece of land was sold for N70,000 but now that the development has come, the price has gone up to N200,000. The governor really tried because there was no hope that a road would be built on this route. We also had doubts when they started building the road. But now we are happy because Ahoro Dada to Ogbomoso, which used to be about 40km, is now 21km via the new road.”

To Mr. Sheriff Akanji, a commercial driver from Abeokuta: “This road is a great blessing to us drivers plying Abeokuta-Ilorin, Lagos-Ilorin roads and so on. Ever since we heard that the governor wanted to build a road connecting Ogbomoso to Iseyin, we have been praying for him. This is the first time I have passed the road and I am amazed that a governor can start and finish a 76 km road so quickly. I have heard so many things about Makinde but this road here confirms what they say about him is true; that he takes care of his people. Otherwise he wouldn’t have opened a way that wasn’t there before.”

The Son of Ogbomoso, Oba Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye, appreciated the governor for the road as it connected two zones of Ogbomoso and Oke-Ogun. This, he said, will create tremendous relationship between the two zones and promote trade and agriculture. He added that the road will also boost trade and agriculture in the northern part of the state.

Oba Olaoye, who spoke through his spokesperson, Rev. Peter Olaoye, said: “We have always associated with each other but this will bring us closer. The two zones have a lot of agricultural activities and when they harvest, they need roads to take the products to the markets. One thing is doing agriculture, another is the right way to the market. This will boost trade and agriculture. Another significance is that this road will help teachers and students of LAUTECH Iseyin campus in their commute.”

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