On Apete Make-Shift Bridge: The Peril Of Ajimobi’s Semi-Conscious Government By Mayowa Okekale
Before now, my mind has been with the unspecified number of people who lost their lives in one of the recent heavy downpour which claimed over 25 lives at the Apete suicidal bridge in Ibadan. It was an ill-luck day for the victims and their bereaved friends and family members. We hope by September, record of human loss would become a thing of the past in this area.
Moreover, if only I can have my way in engaging the executive Governor of the Oyo State in a brotherly-to-fatherly talk on state of security in some parts of the state, I will count it a privilege. It is even possible I remind our Governor of the oath he sworn on security of lives of the Ibadan people as soon as he entered that exalted office which he would constitutionally stay for the next four years. This is because I believe he pledged to secure the live and property of the citizens of the state and take the responsibility as one of his primary duties. But the story all along seems to be changing and what, on the other hand, appears to be playing out is a mere politics of negligence.
As far as i understand politics to be a dirty game, I don’t believe security of lives should be toiled with and neglected as a major duty of a responsible and masses-friendly government. In the Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “The government’s duty to protect the lives of its citizens under the due process. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of persons”. To me, this serves as panacea to an ailing society like ours.
To straighten my way on this opinion, the political activities of Senator Ajimobi have been characterised with some reformation and beautifications in the state. Of course, no doubt. But what is also more critical at this point, and which I must rightfully state as my concern is lack of political will and the void of security consciousness which have bedevilled this same administration to do what is needful at a particular point in time. I believe, most times, when priorities are misplaced, it is always shameful. Yes!
The people of Apete area of Ibadan, before 2011, have vehemently been yearning for a responsive administration to look into their movement rigours and plight on the Apete bridge, which its perilous state has continued to claim lives at different point in time during the rainy season, but the hope is always being shattered. I could calculatively recall that in less than a year this administration commenced, a portion of this make-shift bridge collapsed twice. The bridge, which is the only link between Apete and surrounding communities like Ijokodo, Sango, collapsed on August 26, 2011 during a heavy downpour. And I make bold to ask: Is this government not well-read enough to understand the havoc which a heavy downpour could wreak? And why has there not been proper action to safeguard the lives of citizens?
Just like the previous episodes experienced by the dwellers and road-users in the area, the dangerous and life-claiming makeshift wooden bridge provided by the executive Ajimobi for the pedestrians collapsed recently, June 28th, just after a deluge, which covered some parts of Ibadan.
But before now, at some point, residents of the area have closely observed that the materials used in constructing the temporary bridge had gradually eroded and, as a result, there had been much telephone calls and pressure being mounted on the state government, as far back as March 2012, to construct a solid bridge and replace the makeshift one. But, has there been any? Should we continue to live a ‘makeshift life’ while our own executives and their wards enjoy better and comfortable living? Why should we masses be exposed to the bad side of life when their wards and some members of their families don’t stay with us here? Nothing is as shameful as closely watching log enter ones eyes. Government should not watch its citizens perish because of its costly mistakes. Come what may, it is grossly inexcusable for defence.
To elucidate further on this opinion, we all know for obvious reasons the Mokola-Roundabout Fly-Over was constructed to ease the chaos of traffic on that road. Political campaign? Yes! Of course, it would be glaring to the general public and be counted as one of the feats achieved by the Executive Ajimobi. But it must be said once again that “what is sauce for the goose is likewise sauce for the gander”. Political activities, undertakings and projects have to be balanced, even at the grassroots level, for the betterment of our society at large.
I sure know that the people of Ibadan are curiously watching these unfolding heinous, dangerous, perilous episodes. Will they soon look before they leap?
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