Palliative works commenced yesterday (Friday) on the Aiyetoro-Gbede-Egbe Federal Road, a section of the abandoned Kabba-Egbe-Ilorin road, which has remained impassable due to the heavy rainfall in the past few months.
The current effort is sponsored by a public spirited individual and business mogul, Engr Sunday Karimi in a move to assuage the sufferings of the people of Yagba Federal Constituency in Kogi State, located in the affected area.
Speaking during the flag-off of the rehabilitation works starting from the River Oyi axis, near Ejiba, Yagba West Local Government which is the most terrible part of the road, Karimi, who served two terms in the House of Representatives (Yagba Federal Constituency) from 2011 to 2019 said while road rehabilitation is not the duty of individuals but government’s, his intervention is borne out of his passion for his people and to alleviate their suffering occasioned by the collapsed road amid clamour for the Federal Government to pay attention to the Kabba-Ilorin Federal Road, which unfortunately has not received any attention.
The bad road from Aiyetoro-Gbedde, 10 kilometres from Kabba and stretching to Egbe along Ilorin, Kwara State has been responsible for heinous criminal activities on the axis including armed robbery, kidnapping and raping of women. It has also hindered the mainly farming community from moving their products to markets.
Although contracts for the reconstruction of the 46-year-old Kabba-Egbe-Ilorin road reportedly have been awarded four times by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Executive Council, such approvals have amounted to paying lip service to the road project as they were not backed with budgetary allocation of funds.
The Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has repeatedly taken up the collapsed road with necessary Federal authorities who have not yielded to the call.
However, Karimi said he could no longer wait to see his people going down economically owing to the collapsed road.
His words: “I have watched the sufferings of my people each time I travel on that road, which I do often. I have also been told of stories of robberies, killings, kidnappings and raping of women on that axis of the Kabba-Ilorin Federal Road. The Iluhagba -Egbe section is just too bad. Too terrible and my people have suffered this terrible situation for too long. We have made several interventions on this road including that of our Executive Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, which have not yielded any positive fruit. I have decided therefore to undertake this rehabilitation, which is palliative, so as to ameliorate this suffering.
“Our people, who are mainly farmers can no longer move their farm products outside these areas. They cannot access markets across Okunland. Whatever they produce, which is their mainstay, cannot be sold or purchased again. This is too bad and deserves attention. That is why I have taken it upon myself to intervene in my own little way. I am not a government but this rehabilitation will enable them to move around with their products. We will still continue to mount pressure on the Federal Government to pay the necessary attention to the road”.
He however refused to state how much the project would cost him.
“No I cannot disclose to you how much I am spending on this rehabilitation but you should know that road projects are capital intensive but I cannot be putting cost on what will benefit my people. Whatever I spend to alleviate their suffering is worth it. They have demonstrated an unquantifiable love for me all the time and I cannot close my eyes to their suffering now”, he said.