The Akire of Ikire, Oba Olatunde Falabi and the Caretaker Chairman, Irewole Local Government Council Area of Osun State, Prince Soji Ajayi, have protested the nonchalant attitude of the Federal Government to the incessant accident and loss of lives on the Ikire-Expressway.
Oba Falabi and Ajayi, in company of traditional chiefs and eminent residents of Ikire stormed the Osun State Office of the Federal Ministry of Works, Housing and Urban Development on Thursday, in Osogbo, the state capital, demanding the approval of the Federal Government to construct speed-breakers on the Ife-Asejire dual carriageway, which passes through Ikire.
The traditional ruler and the council boss lamented the spate of accidents and avoidable loss lives on the expressway, saying that the community could no longer bear the I-don’t- care attitude of the ministry to their plight.
OSUN DEFENDER learnt that the communities do on weekly bases record accidents and loss of lives on the Alasepe-Naira and Kobo and Asejire area of the highway, due to the sloppy nature of the affected areas.
It was learnt that the council boss, Ajayi had approved the construction of speed-breakers on the Akire Grammar School-Alasepe Church in Ikire expressway in the affected areas, but needed the approval of the federal government before embarking on the project.
The medium learnt that the Federal Ministry of Works, Housing and Urban Development Office in the state had been frustrating the commencement of the bumps’ construction on the expressway, as it refused to approve the work, a development that led to the protest.
However, the state Federal Comptroller of Works, Housing and Urban Development, was forced to approve the construction of the speed-breakers after he was convinced by the Akire and Irewole council boss.
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER, the council chairman said; “The primary responsibility of any government is the safety of lives and properties. Our records on accidents on the Ife-Asejire dual-carriage way showed that buses coming from Lagos en route Ikire are always on high speed. They would have lost the control of the buses before they got to Naira and Kobo junction in Ikire, due to the slope on the Asejire to Ikire road. This would then resort to accidents.
“Equally, drivers of those buses coming from the Eastern parts of the country to Lagos and en route Ikire, would have dozed-off before getting to Alasepe area, a little fresh air will just tip them up and before they know it, it is either they hit the electric poles or human beings. This is unbearable. We would have constructed speed-breakers on the highway, but the Federal Ministry of Works; Housing and Urban Development had been frustrating us. Thank God it has reasoned with us now”.
The council chairman maintained that the construction of bumps on the Akire Grammar School-Alasepe Church, in Ikire expressway, would reduce accidents and boost the economy of the council area, as drivers would be forced to slow down, which will afford hawkers on the roadsides to sell their products.
Some of the drivers would also stopover at designated motor-parks in the area to obtain the local government hackney permit receipts, which would boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the council, he said.
Ajayi then promised to embark on the bumps construction without wasting time.
It was learnt that the sacked chairman of the council, Mr. Lere Oyewumi had been given approval by the ministry to construct the speed breakers, but failed to implement the project.
The approval letter was dated June 12, 2009 and signed by the state Federal Comptroller of works, Housing and Urban Development, M. O. Dunmoye.