By Adekola Afolabi
A lawmaker representing Akoko South West State constituency 2 in the Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Felemu Gudu Bankole and the Olukun of Ikun-Akoko, Oba (Pastor) Olokunbola Adedoyin (JP), have appealed to the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to urgently rebuild the two bridges linking majorly Oba and Ikun–Akoko communities in Akoko South-West Local Government Area of Ondo State which were washed away by flood.
The appeal followed an all night heavy downpour with its accompanying flood which dismantled and completely washed away one of the two bridges last week, rendering the road completely impassable for the people of the affected communities. Part of the second bridge to the completely collapsed one has also been washed off by the flood
Since last Thursday night when the ugly incident happened, the residents of the adjoining communities such as Ikun, Afo and Idoani have been finding it very difficult to access the road leading to Oba Akoko, while residents of Oba Akoko could not also cross to Ikun and the other communities.
Speaking shortly after he paid on-the-spot assessment visit to the two bridges, Hon. Bankole who was accompanied by Olukun of Ikun-Akoko, Oba (Pastor) Olokunbola Adedoyin (JP), some chiefs, commercial motorcyclists and other residents of Ikun-Akoko, described the situation as extremely shocking and very devastating.
The lawmaker, however, assured the people of the affected communities of quick government intervention to ameliorate their suffering.
“Before now, I had moved a motion on a matter of urgent public Importance on the floor of the Ondo State House of Assembly for government to urgently see to the bad situation of the bridges. But to my dismay nothing was done to address it. Now, we can see the worse situation. What happened here is terrible but we can assure you that our governor will do something very urgently”, Hon. Bankole said .
Also speaking on the level of havoc wrecked, Oba (Pastor) Olokunbola Adedoyin (JP), expressed sadness, saying his Ikun-Akoko community has been completely cut off and there is no way to move out any more.
“This is why we are lamenting. This is a serious havoc. The alternative road is Iwaro road which is also impassable for motorists and other road users. I don’t know what to say than only to appeal to government to come to our rescue. Before now, in September 2017 and January this year we wrote letters pleading with government to help us attend to the bridges.
“We even stated in the letters that the bridges may not last beyond this rainy season. See what happened now, the bridges have been washed away. There is nothing we can do now. We cannot move out, we cannot transport our farm produce to the markets any more. We appeal to our governor to help us and bail us out because we are suffering now”, the monarch said.
In their separate responses, a businesswoman and Yeye Oba of Ikunland, Mrs Caroline Olanrewaju and a commercial motorcyclist, Awoniya Oluwatoyin who also decried the sad incident, said the situation has greatly hampered their daily commercial activities as they are now stranded because of no access road.
Oluwatoyin noted that one of the motorcyclists nearly ran into the river not knowing that the bridge had been washed away by the flood.
As the resumption date for school children draws near, the people of the communities have continued to appeal to governor to quickly come to their aid to enable them and their children access the road to their various destinations.