In the heart of Ogun State, in the quiet Olokuta area of Abeokuta, a symphony of frustration and sorrow played out on a fateful Saturday.
Some of the communities ; Oladuni, Alasela ,Ojo, Olokuta,Abule-Ake, Ire-Akari, Ilekun, Agbopa, Erunwon, Ori-Osoko, Elefun, Jangede,Ogunsan among others were affected .
PLATFORM TIMES gathered that the affected communities are more than 52 with thousands of people as residents .
Irked by the situation,the residents took to the streets in protest, their voices rising above the din of their dilapidated surroundings.
At the center of their anguish was a road, a road that connected not just to the famous Prof. Wole Soyinka train station but also the hopes and dreams of over 52 communities under the Abeokuta South Local Government.
Carrying placards etched with poignant inscriptions, they bore witness to a road that had become a grim reaper, claiming lives and suffocating socio-economic vitality.
Their messages were simple yet desperate: “Watch out!!! Total rehabilitation of train station road,” “Please save us from Olokuta bad roads,” and “All business activities are now paralyzed along Olokuta-train station route.”
Chief Ezekiel Olushola, a community leader, narrated a harrowing tale. He spoke of a student and a pregnant woman, their lives tragically cut short by the treacherous road.
A collision between a truck and the student, as the driver swerved to avoid a treacherous spot, left the student lifeless. The road had claimed another victim
Mr. Babatunde Folarin, a resident of the communities, his voice laden with emotion, described the road as a glaring ecological disaster.
Over 52 communities were trapped in its clutches, unable to access their workplaces, schools, and markets.
The road had become a heartless barrier, a lifeline severed.
His appeal was heartfelt, directed at Dr. Prince Dapo Abiodun, the Governor of Ogun State.
The residents had exhausted their means, pouring over twenty million into the road’s upkeep from their own pockets and donations. The strain was evident, and they implored for government intervention.
They looked to the President, Jagaban Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for support, recognizing that the road’s sorry state was an embarrassment to the state.
For five long years, they had borne this burden. Lives had been lost, accidents had scarred their community, and the economic hemorrhage was immeasurable, tallying over fifty million daily.
The road to Prof. Wole Soyinka’s train station, a symbol of progress, had become a symbol of their suffering.
As the sun set on their protest, the residents of Olokuta carried not only placards but also the weight of their collective grief.
Their voices echoed in the twilight, a plea for salvation, for a chance to reclaim their lives and dreams from the clutches of a road that had become their relentless adversary.
Mr Babatunde Folarin said “It is obvious that this is a glaring ecological disaster that is affecting all the communities, over fifty-two communities are on this area and this road leads to Prof. Wole Soyinka train station.
” The children, fathers, mothers cannot go to their workplaces, the schools, the market. This road is totally cut off, what else can we do, we are appealing to his Excellency, Dr Prince Dapo Abiodun to please come to our aid, the economy stability of this area has been destroyed, you can even look at it, there is access to ecological funds to rescue this disasters.
“This is a disaster, it’s a failed road and this road bis less than three kilometres, what more can we do we have tried our efforts, we’ve done palliative, we’ve call peoples, donations but right now the residents are tired, we are broke, we cannot afford this problem anymore, we are appealing to him to please come to our rescue to save our road.
“On average, the communities in this area have spent over twenty million on this road from their own pockets, from communities, from donations. What more can we do, we cannot do this road again.
“We appeal to the President, Jagaban Bola Ahmed Tinubu to please come and support us in any way whatsoever, we need this road to be fixed, this road is gone
“This is a state road that leads to a federal complex, that’s Prof. Woke Soyinka train station. It’s a state road, we know that but of people cannot enjoy the facility of that train station then what is the purpose, it’s an embarrassment to the state.
“We’ve been on this for over five years now and this is a new tenure in place. How many years do we need to wait, people are dying everyday, accident are happening, cars are being destroyed, lives are being destroyed.
“The amount of losses incurred through economic ability cannot be accounted for, more than fifty million, I will say daily, not monthly, daily activities.”
.. Bad Roads Have Crippled Operations at Wole Soyinka Train Station
While sharing the harrowing experience over the deplorable road in the communities, Secretary Cab Operators Global Limited, Prof Wole Soyinka Train Station, Abeokuta, Olabisi Ogundipe lamented that the bad roads are cripplibg the operations of trains in the station .
PLATFORM TIMES observed that in the heart of Abeokuta, where the Wole Soyinka Train Station stands proudly as a symbol of hope for many Nigerians seeking affordable transportation options, there’s an unseen struggle unfolding every day.
Ogundipe said “I’m one of the cab operators caught in the midst of this battle, and it’s high time our voices were heard.
According to him, the workers were operating under the shadow of the iconic Wole Soyinka Train Station,lamenting that their cab services should have thrived in these times of economic hardship.
” With the rising cost of living, more Nigerians have turned to the train as their escape from the daily highway traffic grind. It’s a sensible choice for them, given the state of our roads.
But, the main artery to the train station, Olokuta Road from the IDI ABA axis of Abeokuta, is the lifeline and a curse. As cab operators,they find themselves in an unjust predicament.
PLATFORM TIMES further gathered that passengers often blame the workers for charging higher fares, not realizing that the pricing reflects the dire economic conditions they endure on the road they traverse.
The workers complained that on daily basis, they make pilgrimages to their mechanics over the condition of their after plying the rutted path to the station which make them to be in a constant state of disrepair.
Findings have shown that,the wear and tear inflicted upon them by Olokuta Road drains their earnings.
The residents claimed that more than 70% of their hard-earned income vanishes into the pockets of mechanics.
Ogundipe said “we can observe that a lot of them can afford to pay for the train instead of being stuck in the traffic on the highway.
“And so, at the moment, there is only one major road that leads to the train station, precisely professor Wole Soyinka train station.
“And the road is no other road than Olokuta road, which is from the IDI ABA axis of Abeokuta.
“And by our daily operation, we have found out that a lot of our customers are always fighting us, because they believe we are the ones charging them, but they have forgotten the economical situation of the country at the moment, which is majorly on the road that we ply.
“On a daily basis, we visit our mechanics, just for minor and major repairs on our vehicles, and we find out that at the end of the day, when you calculate what you have gained in your pocket, we have spent over 70% of our income on the maintenance of our vehicle.
“So we are using this medium to appeal to our executive governor, the number one citizen of Ogun state, Dapo Abiodun who has been doing very wonderful as far as Ogun state is concerned.
“We know that as far as history is concerned, history will say good things about him, and that is why the cab operators global services limited , operating under the Wole Soyinka train station, are appealing that he should please come to our aid.
“It is our time to enjoy the good benefits of our job, and we have found ourselves in cab operations here at Prof. Wole Soyinka train station.
“That is why we are appealing to Mr Governor to please save our souls, we have spent so much money on repairs.”
…. How Bad Roads Killed Pregnant Woman, Student
Chief Ezekiel Olushola, a representative of the people of Olokuta in his message said the residents of this community need help, and they need it urgently.
The reason? A road that has seen better days, and the devastating consequences it brings.
The state of the road in Olokuta is dire, a fact that Chief Olushola and the people he represents want to convey to their Excellency, Governor Dapo Abiodun.
“If you see what is going on there every day, you would know that the road is bad,” Chief Olushola states, his voice filled with concern and urgency.
The situation is indeed dire, with tragic incidents highlighting the need for immediate action. One such incident involved a student from the local school in Kemta.
Attempting to navigate the treacherous road, the student encountered a truck, resulting in a fatal accident. The bad road had claimed a young life.
Another heart-wrenching story involves a pregnant woman making her way from the market, traversing the route from Idi- Aba, Kenta, Olokuta to the railway station at Wole Soyinka.
Tragically, the condition of the road played a role in her untimely demise.
This incident sent shockwaves through the entire community, leaving them mourning for a week.
Chief Olushola emphasizes that their plea is not a fight but an appeal for help.
He said that the residents acknowledge that Governor Abiodun has been doing good work for the state, but they implore him to extend his support to address this critical issue.
It was observed that the road in Olokuta is not just bad; it is the only access route to the Wole Soyinka train station, an essential lifeline for the community.
According to him, the consequences of the road’s poor condition are felt throughout Olokuta. Passengers and cab operators alike are enduring daily hardships, with some choosing to stay home to avoid the perils of the road.
He added that moreover, the residents’ vehicles are suffering extensive damage due to the road’s deplorable state.
The message from Chief Ezekiel Olushola and the people of Olokuta is a cry for help, a plea for safe and reliable infrastructure.
They recognize their Governor’s commitment to progress and development, and they hope that he will hear their appeal and take swift action to repair the road.
In the meantime, the community continues to endure the challenges and dangers that the bad road brings, hoping for a brighter, safer future ahead.
He said ” “We want to complain and appeal to our Excellency, Gov Dapo Abiodun, to repair our road, the road is so bad.
If you see what is going on there everyday, you would know that the road is bad.
“For instance, there is one student coming from the school at Kenta’, and there was a truck coming, because of the bad road, the man wanted to manoeuvre from here and there, but unfortunately, he killed the student.
“Also, there is a pregnant woman that is coming from the market, taking this route from IDI Aba, Kenta, Olokuta to the railway station here at Wole Soyinka train station, you can believe that the woman died from the pregnancy.
“This one really shocked the whole community, we couldn’t do anything for a week.
“So we are now appealing, we are not fighting, we know our GOVERNOR is doing good, but we want him to come to our aid, to come an help us the road is bad and if we want to know, this is the only access way to Wole Soyinka train station.
“The passengers are complaining badly, the cab operators too are complaining. At times, we don’t go out because of the bad road, and all our cars are bad.”
….Our Community Faces Isolation, Unsafe Roads Ahead of School Reopening
For Mrs. Moradeyo Olanrewaju, the residents at the Prof. Wole Soyinka Train Station would be cut off from other communities if the road is not fixed.
She said the communities are in dire straits as they desperately seek assistance from Governor Dapo Abiodun and president Bola Tinubu to address the deplorable state of their road.
With the impending reopening of schools just around the corner, the community’s children face a perilous journey to school due to the road’s deteriorating condition.
A heartfelt appeal was made by a concerned community member who emphasized the urgency of the situation.
The road in question connects to the Wole Soyinka train station, and the community fears being cut off from other areas if it remains neglected.
Furthermore, they emphasize the importance of preserving their cultural ties and maintaining a durable road for essential transportation.
As the Olokuta residents anxiously await assistance, their message is clear: urgent action is needed to address the deplorable road conditions that threaten their children’s safety and their community’s connectivity
“Our road is bad, so I am begging him in the name of God. Our children will be resuming on Monday, the road is not durable, please Excellency sir, we are begging you in the name of Jesus please look into our road, help us to do our road.”
“The impassioned plea extended to the federal government as well, with a request to President Chief Bola Tinubu to lend a helping hand.”
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