Altogether, a total of four roads lead to Akure, the capital city of Ondo State but two of these roads have gone so bad and maybe worse before the end of the year. Sunshine Herald visited these routes and brings open the current state of the roads.
The current state government in Ondo state has, at different for a, reinstated its commitment towards improving the economy of the state but these plans could be frustrated if the government-federal and state-continue to play dumb ears to the state of the roads linking the state capital to other neighboring cities and states.
Altogether, a total of four routes connect the sunshine state's capital to other parts of the country. The about 76km Akure-Ilesa road connects Akure to most of the southwestern state and also an alternative route to the commercial capital of the country, it remains one of the busiest of these routes.
The 35km Ondo-Akure road serves as the only route to the over-pressured Benin-ore expressway and one of the most plied routes within the state. It connects Akure to Ondo town and to the other part of the Yoruba states.
Owo-Akure road is a 48km road that connects the sunshine state to the eastern part of the country while it also serve as a major road for vehicles coming from the northern part of the country via the Owo-Ikare road. The road used to be motorable but things have turned bad since portions of the road failed.
ALTERNATIVE BAD AKURE-ADO ROUTE
The deplorable state cum the incessant rate of kidnapping and robbery along the Owo-Ikare road have forced most travelers to seek alternative along the Ado-Akure road.
While it used to be a journey from Akure to Owo and to Oka-Akoko off the Ikare road before navigating into the Lokoja-Kabba expressway and a final road to the heart of the country's capital city, most commercial travelers and heavy-duty vehicle drivers have since preferred to take the longer Ado-Owo route to Kabba and finally to Abuja.
They consider the Owo-Ikare route worse than the bad Ado-Owo route which has now become an alternative bad route.
This has left the road more pressured and having more to bit than it could have chewed especially when vehicles break down on the road.
Consequently, the area has witnessed more traffic than ever forcing road users to spend more time on the road.
The Ado-Akure road is a link to the Nigerian Police College at Iju; the Catholic Priesthood College at Igoba community; the Iju country home of a former Commissioner for Finance in the state and a sitting senator at the country's red chamber, Sen. Tayo Alasoadura.
Along the road is a semi-mechanized abattoir constructed by the Ondo state government.
Long before the failure of different spots along the Ado road, according to drivers' accounts, it used to be a thirty-minutes drive from Ado to Akure but drivers have now complained of traveling time that exceeds two hours.
We have failed portions of the road around Jegele community where it was gathered that an owner of a filling station constructed the only bridge around the area and the bridge has since remained uncompleted forcing the federal government owned road into one way.
Other failed portions include Igoba community high school, Sango area which houses the abattoir and the Ado motor park.
At the popular Ado motor park, motorists who travel the road most of the times lamented hoe the bad state of the road is affecting them.
Ayo Ayeni, a member of the executive of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the motor park explains, "We have a lot of vehicles that ply this road both Lagos and Ibadan vehicles. The Ikare to Abuja road has gone so bad so most of them have no road to take and they have resolved to take this road. This ado road. They want to spoil this road."
Meanwhile, the governor of Ekiti state maneuvers this route per time to the Akure airport before taking a flight to Abuja for the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.
The driver narrated an incident where the governor was forced into directing vehicles on the road, "There was a time Gov. Fayosee came down from his vehicle and started passing vehicle because the traffic was so heavy."
"Governors, honourable, commissioners and senators including Tayo Alasoadura ply this road," he said.
The popular Ikare junction in Owo serves as a confluence for vehicles coming from the eastern part of the country and vehicles coming from the northern side before linking up to the Akure-Owo road en route Akure. Failed portions exist a stone throw from the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic. While vehicles coming into the Ondo state capital from the northern part of the country have sought an alternative in the Ado-Owo road, this route still opens up the capital city to the eastern part of the country.
On the Akure-Ado road, Ayeni explains the effect of the road on all sundry, "If, as a driver, you don't drive slowly, your absorber will be destroyed and your two rare tires will burst."
He continues, "It is affecting both the indigenes and the visitors. When a stranger is going to Ado now, he may begin to wonder if he is going to a state capital. If an indigene of Ekiti hears him say that, obviously he will feel shy about it."
Ayeni narrated that some private car owners who work in Ekiti state but live in Akure park their vehicles in the Ado motor park while they take up commercial cars to Ado-Ekiti. He pointed out that a countless number of accidents have happened on the road.
He recalled, "Just last week, a vehicle was trying to dodge a gallop and in the course of that it hit another oncoming vehicle. It was a fatal collision but thank God no life was lost. It was this same road. Many are the accidents that we can't even count them."
Another driver on the route, Adewale Julius, bemoans the terrible state of the road as the festive period is fast approaching.
"It is terrible. Our vehicles get spoilt every day. Our tires burst. Hold up all the time. There are potholes on the road. The students are not left behind as well as the civil servants because taxi drivers don't want to come to this axis. Julius pleaded with the state and federal governments to do something about the road.
When contacted on phone, a media aide to Sen. Tayo Alasoadura blamed a failed portion of the road on the activities of men working in the abattoir.
"They should talk to people killing cows at the abattoir. They are the ones causing the problem. The water coming from the abattoir moves straight to the road."