By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City
Indigenes of Egoro Na-oka, an agricultural community in Esan west local government area of Edo State, have cried to the state government over the deplorable condition of the Ekpoma-Egoro Na-oka-Ebudin road.
They said traveling on the 10-kilometre road has become a nightmare for them, as suspected herdsmen have turned the road to their kidnap route.
Spokesman for Egoro Na-oka community, Mr. Godwin Akhaine, who spoke to journalists in Benin, begged Governor Godwin Obaseki to turn his attention to them, as they could no longer travel on the road for fear of being kidnapped.
“For us to travel from Egoro Na-oka to Ekpoma, a journey of 10 kilometres, we have to use alternative route of 25 kilometres through Igueben, Irrua to Ekpoma, just because of the scare of getting kidnapped.
“Herdsmen now take advantage of the failed road to kidnap our people. The latest incident was when five people who were returning from a burial ceremony were kidnapped two weeks ago.
“The road has never been constructed before. We have been battling to have that road done. Politicians come here to camping, but no sooner they get our votes, they abandon us. During the administration of former Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the stretch of the road from Ebudin, Igueben to Ujogba was constructed, perhaps because of the personalities from the area. But our own, from Ekpoma to Egoro Na-oka was neglected.
“We made effort to see Oshiomhole, we wrote letters, they replied to that letters that they will take action. They advertised it for tender in Vanguard newspaper in 2014, but nothing happened. When Obaseki also came on board, we wrote again, he replied, he even sent officials to look at the road, we heard that the road was included in the pilot project for the concrete technology roads, but till now, we have not seen anything. When we made enquiries, were were told that Obaseki’s government only reconstruct failed roads, and not new ones.
Akhaine also urged the newly elected Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye and other lawmakers from the local government area to use their good office to influence the construction of the road to bring succour to the suffering of the people.