Infrastructure: Ekiti most neglected state in Nigeria ― Afe Babalola
The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola has revealed that Ekiti state is currently facing infrastructural deficit as a result of neglect from the successive government in the country.
The legal icon stated this while speaking with newsmen on Wednesday on the collapse of Ureje bridge along with the university and the federal polytechnic road in Ado-Ekiti.
TribuneOnline had reported the collapse of the bridge following a torrential downpour that resulted in flooding on Monday in the state capital.
Babalola who lamented that federal roads in the state capital had been abandoned by the federal government over the years, said all his efforts to concerned authorities on the need to work on the road proved abortive.
He maintained that the collapse of the bridge was as a resulted of negligence on the part of the government both at the state and the federal levels, noting he had written to the authorities concerned warning on the imminent collapse.
He said, “For the past nine years, I have been maintaining that road but this year after series of letters, FERMA wrote to me informing me that they have re-awarded the road to a contractor and I have been following the contractor day and night. What I know which is true is that the contractor did more damage to the road than helping us.
” I wrote about the bridge to all those concerned; Federal ministries of works and copied the president. I also wrote letters to the State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi because I knew that road was neglected by the contractor and the Federal Government. Indeed, Ekiti state is the most neglected state in this country. Look at the road between Ilesha and Ado-Ekiti, it was made over 20 years ago. This road from Ado-Ekiti to Ijan to Ode to Ikare to Lokoja was built before I was born over 100 years ago.
“Nothing has been done to improve the bridge. I have been writing, calling, sending text messages warning that the bridge will collapse anytime. I warned all of them, including the governor that it will collapse that something should be done.”
He added, ” when it happened two days ago, I sent text messages to Fayemi that what I told you should not happen has happened. I also got in touch with Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola who eventually phoned me that they were going to do something about the bridge. I sent messages to monarchs and others. In the afternoon, I got a text from Fayemi that some people will come the following day to work on it.
” Fashola told me they are moving there immediately. I went to the bridge and I saw them working there. My team of engineer have been there early in the morning. No heavy truck or vehicle should pass that place otherwise it will go down.”
Babalola, therefore, called on the federal government to work on the road by making it dual carriage from the state capital which he said was about 15 kilometres to the university and the polytechnic.
According to him, he made through to the university after the collapse of the bridge on Tuesday by making use of the alternative routes for one and a half hours instead of fifteen minutes.
” What we need is a new bridge and a dual carriage road from Ado-Ekiti to the university, which is only 15kilometers. I don’t know why the road has not been repaired. I hope now with what has happened, things will change. I went through Afao to Igbemo to Ilu-omoba to the university. It took me about one and a half hours to get to the university on Tuesday instead of 15 minutes.
” The road from Ado-Ekiti to Akure is one of the worst roads in the country. What I will continue to do now is to continue to pile pressure to those responsible and in authority for us to have good infrastructures, because, without good infrastructures, nobody can come to the university. You know we are suffering here,” he concluded.