Truck drivers have been lamenting that they spend several days on the road when any vehicle get stuck. Hence, Akoko Edo has been agog celebrating Akpoti, they referred to as an amazon and a pacesetter, who reawakened the consciousness of Nigerians to the need for community support.
Her intervention to rehabilitate some failed portions of the Okene-Ibillo-Lampesse-Lagos Road corridor seem to have opened a new vista for individual and community effort in fixing broken down infrastructure rather than wait on government.
The major point for celebrating her they said is that she is not from the community neither is she from Edo State. They said she is not holding any political appointment, yet she has chosen to rehabilitate two bad spots in Ibillo, Lampese and Ekor Ibillo axis on the way to Lagos, through Ikiran Oke and Isua corridor near Ondo State.
The worsening state of that road has given rise to lengthy stretches of traffic, as trailers and heavy duty trucks coming from Abuja, and other parts of the North, begin to waltz around bad spots at Isua of Akoko South East, and the boundary with Ibillo, in Akoko-Edo, Edo State.
The Guardian learnt Akpoti met with leaders in Ibillo recently and decided to do a major repair work, covering over one kilometre stretch on the corridor.
In reaction, her English Language and Literature in English Teacher, Mr. S.A. Obaro, said: “She has given us a surprise because for her to have taken that responsibility, which we expected government to have done is a great thing.”
Spokesperson, Okpameri Descendants Union, Mr. Victor Arogunyo, said, “It is not only people from Ibillo that are enjoying the road. A particular failed portion of the road is a major road connecting the northern and southern Nigeria.
“It is a hub for business activities. For instance, the northerners bring cows, onions to Ibillo market, while every Friday from Ibillo we export gari to Kano, Kaduna, Niger and other parts of Nigeria.
“I want to appeal to other Nigerians to emulate this gesture of this amazon, who I describe as a beauty both in the heart and in the outside.”
When contacted on why she decided to delve into the project, Akpoti said: “The Okene-Ibillo-Lagos highway, which is a Federal road has been in a bad shape around Ibilo where you see trucks lined up for one or two months, some trucks carrying vehicle, cows, tomatoes, foodstuff and cement always summersault around that bad portion of the road is where armed robbers, kidnappers lay ambush because they know that vehicles slow down there so they always wait around to carryout their ungodly business.”
She said: “I thought how long will this continue, is it because those in government use flights, they don’t know the state of the roads? Such Federal Roads should be on constant maintenance.
“Everyone was waiting for government that is not forthcoming and the people need to survive and at the end of the day, it falls back on individuals like myself, yourself and everyone, who has the wherewithal or the capacity to extend the good will.
” I am calling on all well meaning Nigerians everywhere, the conglomerates, those who own big multinational companies and the known and unknown billionaires, should reach out even to their own immediate communities.
“We cannot continue to wait for the government. If the government is failing, how about the wealthy individuals, some who are even wealthier than some state governments. We can all do something and let’s make this country to be great in our own little way.”