By Yinusa Ishola
Idofin Odo-Ashe (Kwara) – The Idofin Odo-Ashe Community in Oke-Ero Local Government Area of Kwara, has renewed the appeal to the state government to expedite action on the reconstruction of the collapsed Omin-Eyin Bridge.
Oba Samuel Dada, the Alofa of Iloffa and Chairman, Oke-Ero Traditional Council, made the plea on behalf of his subjects during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Iloffa on Monday.
No fewer than 14 other smaller settlements are affected since the bridge collapsed few months ago.
NAN reports that farmers and traders in the affected areas are worst hit as they now incurred additional cost to transport their agricultural produce and wares to the markets in the neighbouring communities.
Dada appealed to the state government to expedite action on the reconstruction of the bridge and rehabilitation of roads in the communities to alleviate the sufferings of people in the areas.
“Every facet of life and human services of these people have been retarded, talking about trading, education, agriculture and other essential daily activities.
“To the best of my knowledge, we have it on good authority that the bridge reconstruction had been approved and awarded by the state government.
“We sincerely commend Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for his promptness and magnanimity.
“Nonetheless, we are still calling on government for work to commence on the bridge reconstruction before the rain sets in again.’’
The traditional ruler described the bridge collapse as “very unfortunate, considering the untold hardship being faced by the residents”.
Also, Oba Oni Oluwole, the Traditional Ruler of Idofin Odo-Ashe, who spoke on behalf of the affected communities, said the collapsed bridge had paralysed commercial and other social activities of the residents.
“No adjective is enough to describe our sufferings since the bridge collapsed.
“It has become difficult for our children to go to school; likewise movement of our farm produce have also become a nightmare.
“We are totally cut off from the rest of the state and we are using this opportunity to call on government at all levels for assistance,’’ the monarch said.
Also speaking, Mr Stephen Kazum, President, Idofin Odo-Ashe Development Association, decried the difficulties being encountered as a result of the bridge collapse.
Kazum said that the development had gone beyond what the association could manage, calling on governments and other stakeholders to assist the affected communities.