BY JOKE ADENIYI
Journalists and adventure are ‘synonymous’; it is for this reason that practitioners love to ‘globe trot.’ The enthusiasm to explore and exploit is a driving force for newsmen on the field. Excitement was boldly written on the countenance of a junior colleague penultimate weekend when he was assigned to cover an assignment in Patigi Local Government Area in the Kwara North Senatorial District. It was his first trip to that part of the state. However, on his return, he brought back unsavoury tale of a drudgery journey courtesy the deplorable state of roads in the area. His high spirit was dampened by the ride on the bumpy road to their destination.
The deplorable situation of roads in that part of the state calls for concern. Motorists and travellers are daily exposed to danger as a result of the bad condition of almost all the roads in the local government. The road situation is worse in Gada Lafiagi where there are badly damaged culverts, which necessitated the call by the Etsu Patigi, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Ibrahim Chatta for urgent repairs. He described the spot as death trap particularly during the rainy season.
Apart from danger resulting from avoidable auto accidents on the roads, there is also the danger of armed robbers taking advantage of the deplorable condition of the roads to attack and rob passengers of their valuables.
It is quite unfortunate that Patigi, a local government that possesses natural endowments of fertile land for agricultural activities and abundant rivers for fishing reserve, can suffer such fate. It is an area that can aptly be described as food basket of the state and by extension the nation. And, as such contribute to Commonwealth of Nigeria. Aside the agricultural benefit, Patigi also has locational advantage as it links the north and south. Despite these, the area is on the verge of being cut off from other parts of the country owing to lack of good road networks and bridges.
The construction of the roads in Patigi will no doubt boost socio-economic activities of Nigeria as a whole and improve the standard of living of the people of Patigi Local Government. Hence, there is the need for the re-construction of the roads linking Patigi to Bida and Patigi to Ilorin so as to reduce congestion on Jebba-Mokwa road, Abuja-Lokoja road. This will help cut back on number of lives lost through road accident on the aforementioned roads.
In addition, it is worthy of note that most federal roads in the state are in bad state such as the Ajase-Ipo-Offa-Erin-Ile, Olooru-Bode-Saadu-Jebba, Ilorin-Kabba and Kishi-Kaiama among others begging for repairs. Roads play important role in the economy by enhancing smooth movement of goods and people from one place to another, therefore it is pertinent for the Federal Government to pay attention to Kwara roads under its purview. Or better still, as suggested by the state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfattah Ahmed, states where federal roads are located should be made to assume ownership, after the legal and fiscal adjustments necessary for control might have been made.
However, most importantly the need to improve infrastructural development in the country, should be of premium priority to government at all levels.