ON Wednesday, residents of both Ekiti and Ondo states protested the abandonment of the federal highway linking the two states.
Some of the protesters, who were seen carrying various placards, alleged that the contractor, Dantata and Sawoe, had refused to commence work on the road 15 months after receiving the mobilisation fee for the N22b dualisation of the road.
Some of the inscriptions read, “Too much of kidnapping, raping on Akure-Ado-Ekiti road,” “Governor Fayemi may not be too happy with the slowness of Akure-Ado-Ekiti road,” and “Revoke Akure-Ado-Ekiti road contract from Dantata and Sawoe.”
Others read, “Dantata and Sawoe are frustrating the effort of Mr. President on-road infrastructural development,” “Fix our roads, save our souls,” “After 15 months of mobilization Dantata and Sawoe company is nowhere to be found,” as well as “Too many killings and robberies on Akure-Ado-Ekiti road.”
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Niyi Majofodu said the road had become a nightmare to residents of the Igoba axis and motorists plying the road.
“It is on record that killings, kidnappings, robbery, raping and terrible motor accident have become uncontrollable on the said road,” he said.
“We cannot afford to die in silence. We want to strongly appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to please look into this matter as a matter of urgency. We also express our displeasure at the manners in which Director General ( BPP) awarded the road.
“For instance, the Dualisation of Akure–Ado Ekiti road project awarded in 2020 by the President for Twenty-two billion, six hundred and sixty-three million, four hundred and fifty-one thousand, three hundred and three naira, sixty-one kobo (N22, 663,451,303.61) to Dantata & Sawoe Company with a reasonable amount of mobilization which was however abandoned by the said company.”
Another protester Biyi Poroye said the contractor’s attitude towards the project had become a huge concern, particularly as residents and motorists were going through agonies daily.
Josemaria Adeusi, senior special assistant on citizen engagement and grassroots to Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, told newsmen that the contract should be revoked since the contractors could not show any evidence of work 15 months after the contract had been awarded.
Former Chairman of Akure North Local Government Rotimi Adeleye pleaded with the government to come to the aid of commuters plying the road.
“It is quite highly embarrassing and disgusting that nothing has been done. We are pleading with the government to come to our aid. Several lives have been lost on this road alongside several kidnappings,” he said.