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 protests and demonstrations can be organized to ply 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.
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 outlets and regular repair and maintenance of all road networks, certain disaster beckons in the area.
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 had 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 bridge and the failure of the contractors to strengthen 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.
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 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 would 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 would 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 Comrade Fatai Umoron