Border-towns of Ogun: Anguish for residents as the rains descend



“It is hellish here! Agonising and extremely uncomfortable. The other day, I saw a very elderly woman fall off an okada into a pool of dirty water at a portion of the bad road going to Akute.

Young men, women and a lot of other residents are not left out of this daily troubles and trauma while going out for their daily endeavours.” These were the comments of Engineer Wale Saheed, a resident.

Welcome to Akute, where all the roads have gone from bad to worse.

This border town between Ogun and Lagos state has never seen a good time, as far as the roads are concerned.

“No place is left out. The community keeps growing in leaps and bounds. Population boom is on a daily basis. Yet, government only has made and kept making failed and fake promises to the people. It’s really sad”, Saheed seemed completely pained at what residents have been going through on the major roads over the years. Harrowing pains, are their lot as they groan, hiss and curse, while plying the roads to and fro daily.

“I’ve lived in Akute for more than 15 years now. It has always been the same story. From Agbado to Ijoko. Oke Aro to Olambe through to Akute. And Akute to Alagbole to Iju. It’s the same woeful tales!

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“Seeing people and even myself wallowing and going through the sufferings every day. I feel pity and even cursed those that are supposed to see to the comfort and wellbeing of the residents, who seemed to have shot their eyes to their pains and anguish.

“The question I ask almost always is that, what does it take for Ogun state government to reconstruct these roads? Is this not part of the dividends of a democratic government that electorate should enjoy? Is this not what development is about? Is this not part of the promises made by the politicians while campaigning at elections?

“When will the better days come? When will the people say they have benefited and enjoy the dividends of democracy from a ruling government?”

Myriads of questions begging for answers. Same sad complaints. Grumblings, gnashing of teeth and waiting for Golgotha!

A resident okada rider, nicknamed Dudu, was not sparing at all in his comments. Fuming in anger, he described the present government of Governor Dapo Abiodun as deceptive and insensitive to the plight of the people.

“I remember what happened before the elections. The Governor came to this area during the campaign. He begged the people to vote for him and promised that all the roads will be completed. Before the election, we saw construction vehicles in Akute. Some politicians who were eyeing either State House of Assembly or House of Representatives attempted to do ‘fire brigade’ works.

I think, the Governor’s stuff was palliative too. Some construction works were actually done at Akute bus stop. A lot of people rejoiced and felt that their woes would end soonest. Alas! Not long after the elections, all the construction trucks were gone. That’s our plight here. No sincerity of purpose and commitment on the part of the leader and his lieutenants. It’s so sad!

“With this excruciating picture, residents have continued to do daily rides on okada and available commercial vehicles to get to the various places where they eke a living.

“Long before the fuel increase and as long as I can remember, a lot of car owners had parked their cars and resorted to either okada or the commercial buses because of the effects of the roads and the sky-rocketing prices of vehicle spare parts. How do you cope and sustain yourself?

These days, you see people walk some considerable distance before entering a vehicle to cut cost of transportation. It’s really not palatable at all. Sadly enough, the so called leaders don’t feel anything. The few times they travel on the roads, it is in the best of SUVs. Therefore, they feel nothing about potholes and bumps.

“If the roads are good, it will be of great advantage to the residents, traders and transporters in no small measures. However, the effects of the poor state of the roads are alarming.

“Here, things are extremely expensive. People complain and express displeasures. But, at the end of the day, what choice do they have? They have to eat. Go out and engage in their businesses and daily duties”

A lot of residents are of the opinion that it would have been of great value, if Ogun state government could empower and mandate its Local Governments to carry out reconstruction of these roads like it is being done in Lagos.

“We have seen what is done in Lagos State at the various Local Government Councils. It’s not magic or anything. Just a matter of solving major transportation problems at the council level.

“Government has the power and financial strength to do whatever is essential for the people. I think, it’s just cheer wickedness and insensitivity on the part of those that are not doing it. If past Governors started a project and abandoned it. Successive ones should complete such and take the accolades.

“Governor Dapo Abiodun will have his name written in gold if he revisits and fixes these roads across board. If this is done, it will take the pains and anguish off the people. In fairness, he has worked on the Ojodu Abiodun to Akute, but we will like him to apply the same measure to the Akute to Ijoko end of the road. People are suffering on that route. What the people want from government is not so much. Provide good roads, electricity, water, employment, affordable food, fuel gas and infrastructural facilities, everyone will be happy”, says Olaiya.

For the citizens living in these border towns, while roads are literally non-existent, other essential facilities that make human existence worthwhile are unavailable too.

Segun Awoniyi interviewed for this article said the closest government hospital in the community is at Ifako-Ogba in Lagos State. According to him, “It is terrible to live here. I understood the challenges of living here the night my wife had a labour in the middle of the night. The closest hospital that belongs to the government is at Ogba in Lagos, and we could not get a means of going there by that time of the night because of the bad road network. It was after a neighbor volunteered to drive us to Ogba that we heaved a sigh of relief.

Even at that it took us one and half hours to get there owing to the bad road. My wife survived it but many others who have faced that kind of challenge are usually not as lucky. Many have died during such health emergencies. That is why we need governance with a human face to impact on the poor and downtrodden in the society. If you have money you can afford to go to the private clinics where they will ask for N300,000 deposit before treatment starts. How many people can afford that today?”


A lot of residents are of the opinion that it would have been of great value, if Ogun state government could empower and mandate its Local Governments to carry out reconstruction of these roads like it is being done in Lagos.

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