Smart Adeyemi: GrandStanding While Constituents Wail By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
“We didn’t yet have the power to change state welfare policy, or create local jobs, or bring substantially more money into the schools. But what we could do was begin to improve basic services-get the roads, toilets fixed; the heaters working, the windows repaired, guarantee security of lives and property because that’s the basic existence of life and the essence of governance and representation”~ Barrack Obama, Dreams from My Father
It was without joy that i coin this piece to bring to the notice of the general public, the parlous condition of the federal roads in Kogi Central Senatorial District especially in Kabba and Ijummu Council Areas of the district.
On 23rd March 2014, I took a risk! A big risk it was! I plied the quasi-busy Ado-Ifaki-Omuo-Kabba Federal Highway going to Abuja, the Federal Capital City of the nation of Nigeria. I had thought that the port-hole free state of the road from Ado-Ifaki in Ekiti State gets to Kogi linking Lokoja-Abuja highway. However, I was caught in the web of fallacy of hasty conclusion. I left Ado-Ekiti without a dint of sadness. It was a smooth take off. However, teethe trouble surfaced on getting to the boundary of Ekiti and Kogi States. Bad roads I saw! The roads were, and are still bad as I write. The road from Omuo-Ekiti, the boundary town between Ekiti and Kogi State to Kabba is an eyesore. It is very abysmal to say the least.
Welcoming commuters into Ijummu Local Government Area of Kogi State were some able-fitted men in their early 30’s digging and filling the pothole-riddled Omuo-Kabba road. They litter the road on every one kilometer till one get to Kabba. These men were however not carrying out the service on the platter of gold. It was not a social responsibility. They, though with due respect and courtesy, collect money from all Vehicles that passes through the road. I was amazed that such still exists in 21st century. The last time I witnessed such a scenario on Federal Highway was in early 2000. I opened my mouth and couldn’t close it until a tsetse fly almost take the opportunity of the bizarre to ram into my body. It was an eyesore!
Before now, from Iyamoye in Ijummu local government to Okenne doesn’t take more than 30 minutes of one precious time. That was then as I said. But now, it takes about 70 minutes. The roads are bad and the commuters are Wailing and bowling in agony. The road from Iyara to Iffe-Ijumu is the most-awful and shameful followed by the route from Ikoyi-Ijummu to Kabba. They are on a state of disrepair.
When I got to Lokoja, the capital city of Kogi and 3G network was available on my apple devise, I googled the name of the Senator representing the area in the National Assembly; to my own surprise, the name I saw was the most radical, out-spoken, vibrant and absolutely frank and factual and an accomplished Journalist and Cerebral Speaker, Smart Adeyemi.
Once again, I was shocked and i kept asking myself that what has Smart Adeyemi been doing in the National Assembly? Can’t he get the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA to fix this road or use his influence to compel the Federal Ministry of Works to include the road in their annual budget? Can’t Adeyemi use his power as a PDP Senator to lobby if not compel, the Senate to ensure that Federal Government budget is not passed until the road from Iyamoye-Kabba-Okenne is included in the budget? what is the usefulness of Smart Adeyemi’s outspokenness, power of oratory, brilliant and fearless presentations on the floor of the senate when his people are wallowing in neglect and reckless abandonment?
In addition, I asked with no one available to answer that why can’t the Governor of Kogi State tow the pact of his counterpart in the neighboring Ekiti State that despite being an opposition figure, lobbied FERMA to rehabilitate Federal Roads in his state and awarded the ones not rehabilitated by FERMA to contractors and thereafter, applied for refund from FG and for the sake of posterity and history, be alive to his responsibility by fixing this road in question and later apply for refund from the Federal Government? Of course, i think to get refund from the Federal Government shouldn’t be that difficult with the help Smart Adeyemi and the PDP family caucus in which both the Kogi and the FG belongs to.
For Smart Adeyemi’s information, a former Senator representing Ekiti Central, Olabode Ola, I learnt through media reports, ensured that FERMA rehabilitated the rad from Iwaraja in Osun State to Efon-Aramoko-Ijero in Ekiti State, the gateway to the fountain of Knowledge in the Western part. I also read with pleasure and joy in the print how opposition Senators Babafemi Ojudu and Olubunmi Adetunmbi both from Ekiti State, the folklore land with rolling hills, ensured that all the federal roads in their state received Federal Government’s attention and were not shortchanged in 2012 appropriation.
Not yet done, for Smart Adeyemi’s information, “Representation” forms the basic existence of democracy. However, when their’s no good representation, democracy suffers and die in a jiffy. Good representation leads to good governance and development. A good representation brings jobs, guarantees security of lives and property, revolutionized infrastructures and bring peace and tranquility to the society. Amongst the ultimate infrastructural needs of the people in every society-Democratic or Aristocratic or Monarchical-is Good Road! In actual fact, any community without good roads in the 21st century should say bye-bye to social, economic and educational transformation.
Consequently, I beseech Senator Smart Adeyemi to be alive to his responsibility. Ground standing in Abuja while his people wallows in abject squalor and reckless abandonment is insignificant to the tents and feats of democracy and representation. Adeyemi should remember that he ‘ll be measured by his people with the degree of physical emolument within his district and not that of his often radical display on the floor of the Senate. It is sad to discover that while opposition Senators are daily lobbying relevant people and agencies for the betterment of their people, Smart Adeyemi is daily shouting litany of impossibility.
Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye, Magodo, Lagos
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