“The state government reacts after 38 people died in a car crash on the Ilesha/ Owo/Benin Expressway.”
Reacting to the loss of 38 souls in an accident along the Ilesha/ Owo/Benin Expressway last week, the Ondo State Government, on Wednesday, commenced the rehabilitation of the bad portions which led to the crash.
The state’s Commissioner of Works and Infrastructural Maintenance, Gboye Adegbenro, said that unless concrete actions were urgently taken by the federal government to fix its bad roads, the heavy traffic build up on the roads especially during the coming Yuletide may result in more road disasters.
“I was told that the contract for this road has been awarded to a contractor for sometime now; up till now nothing had been done till this incident occurred,” he said. “Recently we pleaded with the federal government to pay attention to the Ore-Sagamu-Benin Road when people were complaining of the terrible situation.
Look at what happened now on another federal highway. FERMA should be more responsible and responsive to its functions and duties; they should also clear the road shoulders. The state government, through the Ministry of Works, decided to rehabilitate the gullies on this road to prevent unnecessary loss of lives on these federal highways that fall within Ondo State territory.
We as responsible holders of the people’s mandate cannot compromise the sanctity of human lives hence our intervention in this matter. We cannot continue to wait for federal government, who knows what may happen next and the youths dying as a result of some people’s negligible acts are our future leaders. We cannot fold our arms and just be watching avoidable carnage happening on our roads; we have to do something quickly.”
On the matter of an estimated N12billion being owed the state by the federal government on roads rehabilitated on its behalf, he said: “We have worked for them, we have written them. Recently after visiting Ore when the issue of who owes who, how much do they owe came up, Abuja sent a delegation here and we checked our records to determine the way forward. The issue is being tackled now.”
The rehabilitation works excavated the mass burial site of the 38 victims, leading to renewed public outcry.
-By Godwin Akanfe