Frustration, agony in Ilorin as heavy duty vehicles cause gridlock
Residents and road users in Ilorin are presently frustrated and their reasons are not farfetched.
The attempt to avoid the failed portion of the Ilorin-Jebba Expressway has led to the massive influx of heavy duty vehicles into the city.
This has resulted into long traffic queues across the metropolis and frustrated motorists, pedestrians and commercial motorcyclists who lamented bitterly about the negative impact on businesses and man-hours.
During our reporterís visit on Thursday, it was observed that potholes and craters littered several portions of the road.
Residents and few motorists and motorcyclists who still managed to ply the road lamented the negative economic implication of the situation.
According to Mallam Nuhu, who spoke through an interpreter, vehicles broke down every day due to the failed portions, adding that travellers spent six to seven hours to cover a journey that ordinarily would have taken about two hours.
Muhammad Adamu, on his part, said they sometimes spent up to six days to get to either Jebba or Mokwa.
Abdullateef, an okada rider said: "To say we are tired is an understatement otherwise how do you explain a situation whereby trailers broke down for days causing nuisance to road users and the community."
He appealed to the federal government to act fast and rescue the situation before it gets out of hands.
Meanwhile, the worsening condition of the road during the rainy season has further complicated matters for the residents as many truck and trailer drivers have started using alternative routes within the metropolis.
Areas mostly affected include Ita-Amo, Oloje, Ogidi, Adeta and Geri-Alimi.
A tricycle operator, Ahmad, said the situation has been a clog in the wheel of progress for them, adding that sometimes they have to forfeit their charges after passengers decide to alight halfway through the journey because of the slow traffic caused by the situation.
Other motorists who spoke on the issue said while the heavy duty vehicles have damaged many of the roads, some that transport highly inflammable content pose danger to the residents.
Another resident, Mrs. Baraka, appealed to the government to expedite action on its repairs because of the danger it poses to students who will soon resume from holiday.
The llorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (lEDPU) through its National President, Alhaji Otta Aliyu-Uthman, said the diversion of trailers travelling to the North and South of the country is causing hardship to the residents and called for urgent repairs.
When contacted, the Federal Controller of Works in Kwara, Alhaji Wasiu Atitebi, said a request for an intervention on the repair of damaged portions of the road had been sent to the Federal Ministry of Works in Abuja.
"While we await the intervention, I appeal to the residents of the state to exercise patience as the government is working round the clock to ensure urgent repair of the highway", he added.
The 93.6km road which connects Oyo, Kwara, Niger, Lagos and other parts of the country is part of the entire road contract awarded in December 2013 by the federal government, stretching from Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa route at the sum of N14.579 billion.