The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), Ifo LGA, hereby calls the attention of the Ogun State government to the deplorable condition of roads in Agbado/Oke Aro LCDA. We make this clarion call because we believe the situation is dire especially as the raining season beckons.
We challenge the working masses and youth of Agbado/Oke Aro LCDA not to continue to watch as the condition of roads and other basic amenities continue to worsen. There is an urgent need to build a popular campaign through which regular activities like petitions, protests and demonstrations can be organized to put pressure on government and elected representatives to act. Without this kind of approach, very little would be achieved as the long fruitless years of quiet lobbying of politicians have shown. We call on CDCs, CDAs and all progressive groups like trade unions, transport unions, artisans groups and youth associations in the area to join us in this effort.
The roads in the LCDA are often flooded once it rains with dire implications for residents and school children. Last year, a number of children drowned in flood water in different parts of the area. On Tuesday 23rd April 2019, many residents of Olambe, Adiyan and other areas were stranded for hours when rising flood water cut off access road to their communities. Without a set of emergency measures including speedy completion of all on-going road and bridge projects, construction of drainage and flood water channels and regular repair and maintenance of all road networks, certain disaster beckons in the area.
Most crucially, we demand emergency palliative measures in key areas where they are urgently needed to ensure that tragedy does not occur with the daily rains which regularly creates flood that cut off communities and put lives at risks. This emergency measures cannot wait till when the new government settles in or till the next budgetary cycle. Lives and livelihood are at risk and every day without anything being done only brings the day of tragedy closer. We urge community leaders, CDCs and CDAs and the mass of the people of Agbado/Oke Aro LCDA to support this demand with actions where possible.
Aside the fact that a majority of the road networks in the area are unconstructed and untarred such that they have become unmotorable, the few road and overhead bridge projects began by the state government years ago are in different stages of non-completion. The contractors while abandoning the project sites for months now also failed to provide alternative routes for easy passage of vehicles. This has further compounded the woes of the people living in the communities within the LCDA. For instance, the access road under the uncompleted overhead bridge linking Olambe to Giwa regularly turns to a death trap once it rains. This is because of the non-completion of the overhead bridge and the failure of the contractors to reinforce the small bridge which the communities built decades back to provide passage over the stream which passes underneath but which has now become too weak to handle the heavy vehicular traffic that passes daily. Reinforcing this small bridge or creating free passage on the uncompleted overhead bridge, subject to the opinion of engineering experts of course, are some of the emergency palliative measures that need to be considered urgently. Similar actions need to be taken in other areas.
We insist that the core responsibility of government is provision of public infrastructures and basic amenities to ensure a better living standard for citizens. Unfortunately, the Ibikunle Amosun-led Ogun State government has consistently shirked its responsibility to the people of the area not only in terms of road infrastructure but also provision of other basic amenities like public education and healthcare. We hereby demand immediate action to begin to address the deplorable condition of road infrastructures in the area as well as palliative measures to ease the pain of the people.
As far as we are concerned in the SPN, we firmly believe that the Ogun State government has the resources to address the problem of road infrastructure in the area but for capitalist greed. For instance, on the basis of the fraudulent contract system, enormous resources have been wasted on the uncompleted road and bridge projects with very little to show for it. This is because the contract system is not an effective and cost-saving measure to provide public infrastructure, rather it is actually a drain pipe to funnel public funds into private pockets. This is why the SPN often argues for public works programme under democratic workers control as the most effective and cost-saving means to provide public infrastructures.
An SPN government will not only utilize public works programme to ensure provision of public infrastructures, it would also nationalize under workers democratic control the extractive, steel and oil industries from which the major materials needed for road construction are sourced. So far these industries continue to be dominated by private interests, it will be impossible to fully address the infrastructure deficit plaguing Ogun state and Nigeria as a whole. This if linked with the public ownership of other key sectors of the economy and under a government of workers and the poor can open the way for full utilization of Nigeria’s immense wealth and resources to transform the country.
Comrade Ayo Ajakaye
Chairperson (0806 487 6421)
Comrade Fatai Umoron