Oyo State Government, on Monday ordered the contractor handling the expansion of river banks in the city under the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project to provide suitable alternatives for road users before blocking the Akanran Road at Ogbere-Tioya Bridge in Ibadan.
The inhabitants of the community had been groaning as the contractor handling the construction work earlier blocked the road. The development led to heavy traffic snarl as it became difficulty for residents and motorists in the area to move with ease.
A resident of the area, Alhaji Kolapo Dairo, urged the contractor to expedite action on the project in order to ease the pain people passed through daily on the alternative route, which he said was not helping to ease the burden of vehicular movement.
A motorist in the area Dauda Alimi, said, it had been a difficult time for motorists plying the alternative route because it is bad and complex to access.
Alimi said, “We are seizing this opportunity to appeal to the state government to wade into this. The contractor must ensure that a fair alternative is provided before blocking the major road in the area to carry out construction work. The pain and pressure is highly unbearable. Man hour is being wasted and the people are agonising.”
The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources in Oyo State, Dr. Idowu Oyeleke, who visited the project site on Monday morning after learning of the tension the blockade created, said as good as the river bank expansion project was, the people should not be led into hardship.
He stated that the greater good was for the people that would benefit from it to be given an alternative route to ply till the project would be completed.
Oyeleke, who was at the site alongside the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Bashir Olanrewaju, told the contractor that the rules of ethics and standard practice called for the resolution on the best alternative before the road could be blocked.
According to him, millions of Oyo State indigenes live along the over hundred communities that spanned the Ona Ara local government where the road connected and across to neighboring Ogun State.
He said, “I got the information this morning from a fellow Commissioner that tension has been high over the blockade of the road without a better alternative. The alternative given by the contractor, as can be seen, is not known to many people and it is chaotic.
“We have removed the blockade until we can find better alternative that will be accessible and convenient for the people.
“We were told that some people want to take the opportunity created by this tension to spark crisis in the area and we will not allow such to happen. This intervention is to nip crisis in the bud.”
The Commissioner later held a meeting with the management of IUFMP and the representatives of the consultant on the project where a window of three days was given for the agency to work with the contractor and find a better option for a route to be used in the meantime before the major roads could be blocked.