Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari, commissioned the Ore Flyover bridge constructed by the Akeredolu administration.
There have been criticisms on the construction of the bridge since its commissionng. Some citizens feel the N5b cost is not acceptable and is a total waste of public funds. According to them, the cost is too astronomical, more so when seen as just two lanes.
Others feel there are more important needs for the funds expended on the project.
Yet others feel the entire project was conceived and constructed for purely political gains.
We at Sunshine Searchlight cannot for now determine whether or not the N5b expended, according to the State Government is appropriate or not. This is an issue for a later date.
That the bridge was designed as a political gimmick , we feel that is not totally acceptable. While one cannot totally rule out a political perspective, we are of the opinion that the project is long overdue. In fact, it should have been put in place long before the Ijebu Ode bridge.
Any discerning mind needs to go back to what the traffic situation in that axis was before the construction of the bridge.
Before doing this, one needs to take a look at the historic and economic perspective of Ore town. Ore is the major link between the South Western part of the country and other parts of the country. Those travelling to the Eastern parts, including the middle belt of Edo and Delta states and ultimately the northern side of the country must pass through Ore town.
Furthermore, it is a stopover point for travelers to the middle belt, eastern and northern parts of the country. There , travelers stretch their legs and refill their tummies with food and drinks. Travelers from Lagos and Ogun states going to Ondo state axis, have to veer of the Lagos – Benin expressway , to make their journey to Ondo, Akure, Akoko axis. Same for those embarking on the Ilaje , Okitipupa axis.
Historically, Ore was the end of the road for the ravaging Biafran army, as it was there the federal troops halted their ambition. Had the Biafran troop overrun Ore, the southwest, including Lagos, then political capital of Nigeria, would have fallen into the hands of Biafra.
One can from the above appreciate the importance of Ore town. The stop over factor, coupled with the link from Ore to Ondo state via Ondo, Akure , Akoko axis, led to severe traffic challenges. It was indeed a nightmare travelling through Ore. In fact, seeing the two kilometre long queue of trucks, petrol tankers, trailers and commercial vehicles was heart rending. Travelers spent hours to reach Ore. After Ore, it was fast movement towards Benin.
In fact, motorists resorted to short cuts through neighbouring villages, thereby destroying their roads and drainages and bringing heavy vehicular traffic with attendant social menace to these sleeping villages.
This affected the people’s psche, made them burn fuel, affected their vehicles, as overheating amongst others, made them incure such unplanned expenses.
With the coming to being of the bridge, life has recorded a revolution there, as the traffic nightmare is now a tale for posterity.
The Rotimi Akeredolu therefore deserves kudos instead of knocks for making life better for its citizens and even other Nigerians.
Ondo state citizens should put aside political leanings and commend what is good. Afterall, what is good, is good.
The challenge is therefore to the State Government to ensure that effective regular maintenance is put in place for the bridge. It must be swept and weed removed regularly. Its response rate to accidents affecting road furniture on the bridge must be fast.
In addition, the people should jealously guard this wonderful investment by utilizing it with every sense of responsibility.