Scores of lawyers under the aegis of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ota branch, Ogun State, on Thursday, abandoned the courtrooms to protest against failed roads in the state.
The peaceful protest was led by the NBA branch Chairman, Isaac Ogbah.
According to The Punch, the lawyers were armed with placards with different inscriptions such as: ‘FG, stop killing people in instalments via bad roads’, ‘Spending hours from Ota to Abeokuta is killing’, ‘FG, where are billions budgeted for our roads?’ ‘Bad roads have turned many children to orphans’, ‘Ota roads: Hell on earth’, ‘Gov Dapo Abiodun: Right the wrongs that past governors meted to Ota and its environs’, and ‘Lafenwa-Itele roads are death traps’, among others.
Ogbah said all roads in the state were impassable and causing hardship for the residents.
He later led his colleagues on a march from the roundabout in front of the Ansarudeen Comprehensive Secondary School, Ota, to under the bridge at Sango and to Joju and Oju Ore, and back to the starting point.
The lawyers also made a stopover at the palace of the Olota of Ota, Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege, and the secretariat of the Ado Odo/Ota Local Government Area, where copies of their statement on the bad roads were dropped.
The Head, Local Government Administration, Ado Odo/Ota LGA, Olasubomi Ayorinde, received a copy of the statement for onward transmission to Governor Dapo Abiodun.
Ogbah and some of the officers of the association addressed the residents at the various points, calling on the federal and state governments to do something urgently about the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Sango-Idiroko Road, Atan-Lusada Road, Ijoko and Lafenwa-Itele roads, among others.
The NBA chairman said as lawyers living and practicing in Ota and environs, it had become necessary for them to give direction to the people and ensure the advancement of the country.
He stated, “There is no good road in Ogun State. All the roads have failed. Lawyers and judges don’t get to courts on time due to the condition of these roads. The residents too are suffering.
“Researches have shown that the road network in Nigeria is about 194,000 kilometres; many of these roads are bad owing to the carelessness of the concerned authorities.
“In many instances, though budgetary allocations are made, nothing reasonable happens at the end of the day.
“Among the major bad roads that are of utmost concern are the Sango-Ota-Owode-Idiroko Expressway, Atan-Agbara-Lusada Expressway and the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, among others.
“We are giving the federal and state governments 14 days to make specific statements on these roads. After 14 days, if we don’t hear from them, we shall move to the next phase.”
Ogbah, who noted that good roads enhance economic prosperity, good health, security and ensure improvement in the living standards of the people, added that most roads in the Ota area were in a terrible state.
Though he commended the state government for reconstructing the Ota-Ikola-AIT Road, he, however, stated that the Anglican Road, Ota-Ilogbo Road, Sango-Ijoko Road and the Alagbole-Akute-Lambe Road were in a terrible shape.
Ogbah lamented that though the Federal Government was reported to have awarded the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Abeokut Expressway to Julius Berger Plc, no substantial work had been done on the road.
He added, “It now takes an average of three to four hours to get to Abeokuta from Ota. There have been days that commuters and motorists spend up to six hours at a spot at the Iyana-Ilogbo area.
“While we do not have the number of deaths on these bad roads, we know that everyday people’s health is being impaired.”
Source: The Punch