Residents of Obangede, Uhuodo and Okaito in the Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State have written a Save-Our-Souls letter to the state governor, Yahaya Bello, decrying the dilapidated state of their roads, and the socio-economic negative consequences they have suffered.
The residents lamented that their roads, particularly in Obangede, which is their LGA headquarters, are a nightmare and need the urgent attention of the government.
The SOS letter was written through the office of the LGA Chairman, Abdulraheem Ohiare, and the Kogi State Commissioner for Works and Housing, Abubakar Ohere, to the state governor.
A copy of the letter obtained by SaharaReporters noted that the poor state of the “connecting bridges has caused heavy loss of lives and property in our communities.”
The residents said, “It is with due respect and a heart full of pains and grievance that we write to you today. Our roads are in a dilapidated state. Our roads have become a nightmare to the entire Okehi LGA. It is no longer motorable and we are crying out loud.
“The condition of these roads has brought about many negative changes such as hikes in the transport fare; delay on the roads due to potholes and swamps; and constant breakdown of vehicles.
“Overtime, people have said the LGA should carry out the road construction projects. Now the big question is; what happens now that our Internally Generated Revenue in Okehi LG is not even enough to pay LG workers let alone finance a road project? Well, if the state would not do these roads for us, they will forever remain this way.
“We will lose access to about seven communities because, in the not too distant future, we will be experiencing the rainy season and we are sure many of our bridges from Uhuodo down to Okaito Usungwe will surely fall totally if not given proper attention.
“Remember that because it was because of physical development in our LGA that we came out massively to cast our votes during the last election that was conducted.”
The residents called on the state government to also consider the calibre of road contractors it awards projects to, saying that “it is shameful that in less than two years of construction, many of the roads (which were even done recently) are fading away and their surfaces broken.”
“We really feel sorry for the pregnant mothers plying those bad roads on a daily basis because as we was told, some expectant mothers have had miscarriages because of the bad road. In the wake of the recent intensive rainfall, the issue of bad road has become a pertinent matter – requiring urgent lasting solution.
“The sound of a rushing rainfall remains an impediment to the well-being of your people who call on your attention from Obangede in Okehi LGA, Kogi State. Remember that we are part of Ebiraland. So, we should not be left out in terms of development,” the residents added.