Bad Road Sparks Fear of Kidnappers in Ogun Community
Iberekodo-Mawuko Road Residents Appeal for Government Intervention Amid Security and Economic ConcernsResidents, traders, and daily commuters traversing the Iberekodo-Mawuko Road in the Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State have united in a fervent call for state government intervention to address the deteriorating state of their thoroughfare. Voicing their concerns during separate interactions with PUNCH Metro on Tuesday, community members highlighted the alarming consequences of the road’s decay, citing increased vulnerability to kidnapping activities and a marked downturn in local business dynamics.The deteriorating road conditions, the residents revealed, have inadvertently provided an opening for kidnappers to exploit, jeopardizing the safety and well-being of those dependent on the passage. Furthermore, the widespread degradation of the road has adversely impacted economic vitality, prompting homeowners to relocate to more accessible neighborhoods, thereby hastening a decline in commercial transactions within the region.On a recent visit to the vicinity, our correspondent observed sections of the road that encompass key establishments such as the Ogun State Water Corporation, Arakanga, the Arakanga Forest Reserve, and various private enterprises. This stretch of road has evidently fallen into a state of disrepair, marked by multiple damaged segments.One concerned resident, identified as Abioye, candidly expressed the escalating unease surrounding the road’s security situation. She elucidated, “The parlous state of the road is taking a toll on our enterprises; the sale of our merchandise has taken a hit. Previously, when the road was in good condition, drivers of trucks, tippers, and cars frequented this area for vehicle maintenance. Yet, since its deterioration, we’ve witnessed a decline in sales.”The specter of kidnapping, Abioye emphasized, has grown palpable, casting a cloud of anxiety over the community. “There have been accounts of potential kidnappers lurking within this vicinity. Only weeks ago, an individual was tragically shot by unidentified gunmen,” she disclosed.Abioye further underscored that a significant portion of the community’s populace had opted to abandon their residences in search of locales offering essential amenities. She elucidated, “This road acts as a conduit connecting Opeji, Eruwa, and Alabata, but its dilapidation has stifled movement. The lament is not confined to merchants; a number of homeowners have forsaken their abodes in favor of more hospitable environs due to the deplorable road conditions.”A commercial motorcyclist, Abdulahi, who plies the Iberekodo, Mawuko, Ajegunle, and Abule-Ayo areas of the road, expounded upon the detrimental impact on his health and livelihood. “The road’s detrimental condition has led to both my health’s decline, due to the daily physical strain, and a rapid depreciation of my motorcycle, courtesy of the road’s harshness,” he remarked.From Iberekodo to Mawuko, the road has become a testament to the ravages of erosion, potholes, and mud, each contributing to aches and pains following a day’s labor. Abdulahi articulated, “The repercussions extend to my readiness for work the subsequent day.”Oluwasegun Adeyemo, a resident engaged in the granite business, revealed that the poor road condition has forced his trade into suspension. The route to the riverbank, vital for sand dredging operations, has been compromised by the damaged road. Adeyemo lamented, “Our ability to access the sand dredging site has been crippled by the road’s deterioration, affecting our trade. During rainfall, vehicles find themselves stranded, as sections of the road are virtually cleaved in two.”Adeyemo underscored the imperative for the state government to extend assistance, offering respite from the daily hardships endured by the road’s users. Amid concerns of kidnapping, the Police Public Relations Officer, Omolola Odutola, indicated that the police were yet to receive reports of such incidents, while the Special Adviser to the Ogun Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Ade Akisanya, acknowledged the road’s deterioration but conceded that budgetary constraints would defer repairs until 2024/2025.Amid mounting concerns over the security implications and economic ramifications, the fate of the Iberekodo-Mawuko Road hangs in the balance, awaiting the resources and attention needed to restore it to a safe and functional state.