BY JOKE ADENIYI
I looked forward with elation to the end of year 2016 specifically because of the few days’ ‘break’ that staffers have been enjoying in the past few years from tail end of the year till first week of the New Year. The reason is not farfetched, the short holiday affords me opportunity to rejuvenate my dying social life. I had over the years become a ‘social outcast’ owing to my busy work schedule which kept me away from social functions organised by family and friends both within and outside the state. So, the thought of attending a paternal aunt’s burial scheduled for 28th Wednesday and 29th Thursday of December in my hometown, Arandun in Irepodun Local Government Area of the state, gave me adrenalin rush. It brought back the nostalgia of celebrating Christmas in the village in my childhood days. We defied the bad road annually to celebrate the special occasion with our kinsmen then.
I counted days, hours and minutes to the take-off time for the journey. It’s been ages since I visited the home of my roots, therefore the excitement is understandable with adventure and reunion with family members on my mind.
But, the excitement began to wane when we hit the road. It turned out to be an irksome trip no thanks to deplorable state of the road. The Federal highway from Idofian to Oro and the bypass from Oro through Esie to Agbonda are dotted with pockets of road craters causing vehicles to swerve dangerously. Being a touch liner, I pressed imaginary brake as the driver manoeuvre the car through the scattered potholes on the road. I had my heart in my mind throughout the whole trip length up till Agbonda neighbouring town to Arandun where I was able to heave sigh of relief and felt relaxed because we enjoyed a smooth ride from there to my destination. The tale of the bad road dominated discourse at the event particularly by first time visitors.
However, the road within my hometown is in good shape (constructed two years ago), a feat I must credit to the contractor, Chelfom Engineering Construction Company Ltd. But, it is the same construction firm I was made to understand that executed the road project from Oro to Agbonda that is now bad shape. This project must be revisited in the interest of the development of the affected towns.
One other disturbing issue is the 8km is left out in the road construction project from the long stretch of road from Arandun to Ipetu in the same axis. Could it be that politics is the underlining reason for this development? This is a question begging for answer. The road construction has no doubt brought about development to my hometown. I was amazed to see the infrastructural transformation that taken over my hitherto rustic town, which has equally translated to economic development of Arandun. So, one can imagine what the developmental impact of the road construction will be on small towns like Olowonijare and Olomi Oja that did not benefit from the project that should have ordinarily been their lots. Development of the nooks and crannies should be the overriding interest of the present administration of Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed’s administration at all times.
Meanwhile, one fascinating thing about my hometown is the presence of a warm water spring, which was discovered few years back. Up till now, the tourism potential is yet to be explored and exploit by either of the state or federal government. At a time when diversification from oil has become a sing song by government at all levels, it is appalling to observe that this natural resource is lying fallow begging to be tapped. The natural endowment has potential to be a huge revenue earner for the state and by extension the country, just as it could serve as pivot for further economic and social development of the town. I had wanted to visit the site but it could not be accessed by car and that discouraged me. Nonetheless, there is the urgent need for the state government to explore the full potentials of this newly discovered spring and other tourism resources that abound in Kwara.
Re: Vocational Centre completion, good tidings
Merry Christmas to you madam I was opportuned to read your write-up and I think I need to let you know my view about the International Vocational Centre at Ajasse Ipo. To start with have you been to Kwara Technical College in Ilorin? The school was commissioned in 1981. I want to inform you that till date there’s no electricity supply to the school, till today many machines and tools have rusted due to non-usage. If students need to perform any practical they would have to contribute money to buy fuel. What kind of knowledge do you think these students acquiring in this situation. Many people have encroached on the school land. If the school is well managed it will aid development of this state. The products of the school can help develop the state with vocational skills acquired. I will be glad to take you on a visitation trip to the school so that you can see things yourself.
Kolawole Issa writes via firstname.lastname@example.org