From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Senator Ayo Arise, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, has registered his displeasure over the deplorable condition of federal roads in the state.
Arise, who represented Ekiti North Senatorial District between 2011- 2014, lamented that the roads were becoming impassable and no longer safe for motorists and commuters, noting they were constructed in the 50s, during the era of the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Arise who regretted their deplorable state had caused accidents and untimely deaths to many, urged the federal government to as a matter of urgency rise to the occasion and fix the roads.
He pointed out that the new generation of leaders in the country had not been fair in terms of ensuring good road networks either by maintaining or fixing most of the roads in the state.
The former legislator made the remarks at the final burial ceremony of late Prophetess Victoria Popoola, mother of former APC governorship aspirant, Otunba Demola Popoola, in the June 18 election in the state.
Arise described late Madam Popoola as a devout Christian who served God till the point of death, adding that the deceased was blessed with children that anyone can be proud of.
“Prophetess was blessed with many wonderful and industrious children. I have noticed that in the calibre of people who graced the occasion and how the burial ceremonies were put together.”
Speaking further on the deplorable state of the roads, the APC chieftain alleged that all efforts by the present administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi to fix the roads were frustrated by the federal government.
According to him ,” I know that governor Kayode Fayemi made concerted efforts to jointly fix the roads between Ikere -Ekiti and Akure, the Ondo State. The governor went as far as securing loan for the project only for the federal government not to assure that it will repay the money. So, we are prepared to fix the roads, they are our roads and they are for our people. Those losing their lives on the roads are our people. It is either somebody from Ekiti, Ondo, Osun or other adjoining states. It is a worrisome and unprecedented situation. All the roads leading to Ekiti are so terrible now. It is not a good story to tell.” Arise lamented.
He added, ” all the roads are becoming impassable and it is a deeply regretted situation which should never have happened to us in the state. Having said that, I think the Federal Government has failed in its responsibility in terms of providing good road networks. It is still part of what we need to visit and discuss with government seriously.
” I know that part of what we are saying about restructuring is still coming to light. How can somebody who stays in Abuja knows what is happening between Ado-Ekiti and Ilawe-Ekiti, or Ado-Ekiti and Akure? And the roads, which are federal government roads have all gone beyond repairs. Most of these roads were constructed during late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s era in the 1950s .It is terrible that we have not seen significant impact of the new generation of leaders in this country.
“What we are still seeing, the roads we are plying today are vestiges of the first republic. It very bad and I think the federal government should do something very quickly.”
Speaking about his late mother, Otunba Popoola who betrayed emotion described the deceased as the best mother in the world.
He relived the uncommon care and affection accorded him by his late mother stressing his success story cannot be complete without mentioning the great input, spiritual guidance and support from his mother.
The deceased son used the occasion to thank his political associates and those who came from far and near.
“Many thanks for sharing in such a memorable day in our lives. My entire family and I will always reminisce your kindness, love and support as regards my late mother’s burial ceremony. We sincerely appreciate the effort coming from such a long distance to grace my occasion. Thank you for making the day a grand and successful one.
” We are indeed, going to miss her dearly. She is the best mother in the world and our pillar of support. We dont want her to leave us now but we have to accept the verdict of God. Mummy, we miss you but continue to rest in the bosom of our lord Jesus Christ ” Popoola said as he burst into tears.
Amongst the dignitaries present were former and serving politicians, including deputy governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, two of his predecesors in office, Professors Modupe Adelabu and Olusola Kolapo and former governor of Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni.
Also at the occasion were, Ambassador Dare Bejide, CEO of YEMKEM International, Dr Akintunde Ayeni and former Accord Party governorship candidate in the June 18 election in Ekiti, Otunba Reuben Famuyibo.
The Accord Party governorship candidate for the 2023 election in Oyo State, Chief Bayo Adelabu and a member of House of Representatives, Sina Peller also graced the occasion .