The Sour Neglect of Kaba-Ekiti Federal Highways 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”~Barack Obama stated in his book titled “Dreams from My Father”.
Sometime ago, 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 troubles 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 the boundary of Omuo-Ekiti and Iyamoye, the boundary town between Ekiti and Kogi States 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 passing 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. It was an eyesore!
Before now, from Iyamoye in Ijummu local government to Okenne doesn’t take more than 30 minutes of one’s precious time. That was then as I avowed. But now, it takes over 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 immediate past Senator of the district in the National Assembly; to my 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.
I was shocked and i kept asking myself what did Smart Adeyemi achieve for his people for the eight years he spent in National Assembly? As a Senator, he could have lobbied 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. What was the usefulness of Smart Adeyemi’s outspokenness, power of oratory, brilliant and fearless presentations on the floor of the senate if he could not deliver his people neglect and reckless abandonment?
Now, Adeyemi is out, he has been voted out. Another radical and out-spoken character in the person of Dino Melaye has replaced Smart Adeyemi. Thus, I put it to Dini Melaye that “Representation” forms the basic existence of democracy. However, when their’s no good representation, democracy suffers. 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 transformations.
Consequently, I beseech Senator Dino Melyae and his colleagues in Kogi State to be alive to their responsibilities. Ground standing in Abuja while their people wallow in reckless abandonment is insignificant to the tents and feats of democracy and representation.
Just like Smart Adeyemi was screened at the polls and failed, Dino Melaye should remember that he ‘ll be measured by his people with the degree of physical emoluments he’s able to attract to his district and not that of his often radical display on the floor of the parliament. Adeyemi has failed. Dino Melaye should act, lobby and deliver and not shout litany of impossibility.
Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye, Magodo, Lagos.