Road to Wole Soyinka train station in Ogun collapses, residents cry for help


Various portions of the road leading to the Wole Soyinka Train Station in Ogun State have collapsed.

The Wole Soyinka Train Station is one of the 10 stations that make up the 156km Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail commissioned in 2021 by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

However, when the state-of-the-art train station was completed by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, government did not take into cognisance, the need to fix the access road that goes to the station.

Today, the road has become a nightmare to train users, who are now considering returning to the roads instead of traveling to Lagos and Ibadan through the railway.

When our correspondent visited the train axis on Saturday, it was noticed that the 3km Kemta/Olokuta/Idi-Aba road is in shambles.

Different portions of the road have been washed away by erosion, giving the people no other option than to cry to both the state and federal governments for succour.

One of the community leaders, Chief Ezekiel Olushola, said a student and one pregnant woman lost their lives due to the poor condition of the road.

“For instance, there was a student coming from a school at Kemta, and there was a truck coming, because of the bad road, the driver wanted to maneuver from a bad spot and unfortunately, he hit the student and he died,” Olushola said.

Olabisi Ogundipe, who is the Secretary of Cab Operators at the train station, added, “On a daily basis, we visit our mechanics, just for minor and major repairs on our vehicles. At the end of the day, when you calculate what you have gained in your pocket, you would have spent over 70% of the income on the maintenance of the vehicle.”

The chairman of the communities in the area, Babatunde Folarin, said about N20 million had been spent by residents in order to fix the road, which he described as a disaster.

Folarin said, “It’s glaring, this is an ecological disaster affecting over 52 communities in this area. This road is totally cut off. What else can we do?

“The economic viability of this area has been destroyed. This is a disaster. It’s a failed road. This road is less than three kilometres. We have tried our best. We have done palliatives. We have called people for donations, but right now the residents are tired, we are broke.

“This the road that leads to a federal complex, the Wole Soyinka Train Station. We know it’s a state road, but if people cannot enjoy the facility of that train station, if people cannot get there, what is the purpose? This is an embarrassment to government. We’ve been on this for over five years and this is a new tenure. What more? How many years do we need to wait. People are dying every day.”

Folarin called on President Bola Tinubu and Governor Dapo Abiodun to urgently fix the road in order to ameliorate sufferings of the users, especially those accessing the train station.

A resident, Olaniyi, acknowledged that the Abiodun administration had fixed many roads in the state, and begged him not to forget the Olokuta train station road.

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