Mr Sola Ademola is a civil servant in one of the government establishments in Ibadan, Oyo State.
He is one of the landlords in Adeleye area of Ibadan. Adeleye is located along the Iwo-Ibadan road.
His wife is a trader who has a shop in the Iwo Road area, while their children are schooling in one of the schools at Agodi Gate area.
The father of two and his wife are one of the regular commuters who ply the Ibadan-Iwo Road on a daily basis. The family of four moved to their own personal residence four years ago after they were given quit notice by their former landlord from their rented apartment at Yemetu area of Ibadan.
Their decision to move to their own personal residence has since then served as a source of relief because they no longer pay house rent.
But, the family of four are currently facing another challenge.
DAILY POST learnt that trouble started on Monday, 24th July this year when the bridge on Egberi River in Olodo collapsed
The collapse of the bridge has been a major source of concern for Mr. Ademola and thousands of residents of communities located along the Iwo-Ibadan Road, as well as travellers.
Some of the communities include: Olodo, Oke Omin, Aba Odo, Odan, Agandi and Kumapayi.
Others are: Adeleye, Lalupon, Ejioku, Offa Metta, Olagbaye, Oloro, Olubodun, Alaran, Opelade, Baale, Edun and Solaloju.
Travellers from Iwo, Osogbo, Ilorin, Ogbomoso and Ejigbo, who usually pass the bridge, are also affected.
Oyo government closes road, opens alternative
DAILY POST recalls that the state government closed the bridge and had instructed motorists to take an alternative route.
The government made the announcement a few days after the bridge collapsed.
Commissioner for Works, Public Infrastructure and Transport, Professor Daud Kehinde Shangodoyin, announced the alternative road when he visited the 2.5 kilometre Oki Junction-Olodo Bank Road.
“So, we needed to look for the easiest route to reduce the hardship on that road. Now, we have located a road, which is 2.5km from Oki junction to Olodo Bank. What we have done on this road is some repair work because it is an old and abandoned road.
“We have on the road, a 4m width of bridge, which was constructed during the Western region. We also have two streams in which we have placed steel pipes which are 6m long and 1.2m in diameter. We have done some classification and put some stone base so that it will be passable for our people.
“Also, we have identified another route, Oki-Kumapayi to Olodo, which is 3.8km. We are going to embark on the project so that we can have two alternative routes for our people plying this road,” he said.
Pedestrians lament slow phase of work, as commuters face more hardship
Our correspondent, who visited the site of the old bridge a few days ago, observed that many of the pedestrians were lamenting.
Majority of the people who passed through the site during the visit by DAILY POST lamented what they described as a slow pace of work on the bridge.
The visit revealed that the portion reserved for pedestrians to pass is currently in a bad state.
Our correspondent also observed that some officials of Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) also known as Amotekun have been stationed at the site to maintain law and order.
DAILY POST correspondent observed that residents, commuters and travellers plying the alternative road now face more hardship on the road, especially in the morning and peak period in the evening.
Many residents complained that they spent about two hours on a road that should not take more than 15 minutes.
A road user, Mr Kola Akangbe lamented that, “passing through the Iwo-Ibadan road has become a hectic task for us. Even the pupils of both primary and secondary schools have to wake up by 5 am, so as to meet up in the school.
“We usually spend more time than expected here. We should spend at least 12 minutes on the road, because it is an existing old road, but we spend one or two hours on the road on a daily basis.”
Traders turn collapsed bridge site to market
Our correspondent gathered that while commuters, residents and travellers are groaning, traders are currently smiling to their banks.
It was observed that some traders have abandoned their shops and relocated to the site of the collapsed bridge to make brisk business.
Some of the traders included those who sell perishable goods, household items and those who sell beverages.
Others included those who provide services such as point of sale operators, commercial motorcyclists, three-wheeler operators and commercial cab operators.
It was observed that many car owners on a daily basis park their cars at the site and board public transport after crossing the bridge and come to take their cars in the evening.
Landlords abandon residential buildings for rented apartments
Our correspondent was informed that what made Ademola and his family to abandon their personal residence for a rented apartment at Aleshinloye is the same thing that is making many of the residents to do the same.
It was gathered that many landlords and house owners along the road have abandoned their personal residences for rented apartments in other parts of Ibadan city.
A resident of Olodo, Mr. Abiola Adeleke told DAILY POST that he has relocated to Monatan area.
He added that he abandoned his personal residence and rented an apartment because he cannot withstand the hardship.
“It is not easy. I am telling you that the stress is too much on the road. The alternative road is bad too. I cannot cope.
“The children have to go to school and in order to avoid lateness, I decided to look for a flat at Monatan. I now go home once in a while. A man residing behind my house has also abandoned his own house.”
A teacher in one of the schools located along the Iwo-Ibadan road also narrated that no fewer than four families whose children are in her school have abandoned their houses due to the challenges they faced on the road.
The teacher narrated that she usually woke up early to beat the traffic on the alternative road.
“Many people have abandoned their residences. Some of us now park our cars at home because of the traffic on the alternative road. We are making use of the portion provided for pedestrians.
“We usually spend more than one hour on the road that should not be more than fifteen minutes when there is no traffic.
“The work on the new bridge is slow. We don’t know when it will be completed, so many people are now parking their cars at the site of the bridge.
“If I want to count, I have seen more than four families in my school that have abandoned their residences and rented flats in other areas just to move away from the hardship on the road,” she disclosed.
Mr. Lekan Sodiq, a resident of Olagbaye community in Adeleye area, also confirmed that many landlords in his area have abandoned their homes.
He said, “I live in Olagbaye. But the stress is too much. I have stopped taking my car to the office since the bridge collapsed because of what I encounter on a daily basis.
“Some people in our area have abandoned their residences. I am aware that people from other communities such as Oloro, Olubodun, Alaran, Opelade, Baale, Edun and Solaloju have also abandoned their residences because they cannot cope with the stress”.
Community leaders appeal to Oyo government
Some community leaders in the area have appealed to the Oyo State government to come to their aid.
Those who spoke with DAILY POST lamented the poor state of the alternative road and the slow pace of work on the new bridge under construction.
A community leader in Aba Odo, Alhaji Jinadu, who spoke with DAILY POST, said that motorists are facing untold hardship on the alternative road.
“It is true. The alternative road is bad. Work on the bridge is slow. As of yesterday when I passed through the alternative road, cars are now sinking on the road.
“They need to repair it to ease the suffering of the people in the area. Both the inner road, the alternative and the new one are presently bad. That is the situation of things now,” he revealed.
An indigene of Olodo, Chief Mudasiru Aibinu narrated that one person died when the river overflowed seven years ago.
He added that another person died four years ago.
Aibinu then used the opportunity to appeal to the state government to expedite action on the new bridge.
He said, “On the issue of the collapsed bridge. We have many problems. The bridge started overflowing about seven years ago. One person died then. Four years ago, it occurred and one person died.
“The bridge totally collapsed during the last flood that occurred, though nobody died. The government should please help us. We want the government to help us”.
No response from Oyo government
Meanwhile, all efforts made by DAILY POST to get a reaction from the Oyo State government proved abortive.
DAILY POST reached out to the commissioner for Works, Public Infrastructure and Transport, Professor Daud Kehinde Shangodoyin, for his reaction.
However, several calls put through the two telephone contacts of the commissioner since Friday were not successful.
Messages sent to the commissioner through SMS and WhatsApp which have been delivered since Saturday have not been replied as of the time of filing this report.