Residents of eighteen (18) communities in Akinyele Local Council area of Ibadan, Oyo State have appealed to the Federal Government to provide for them, alternative routes to allow them access other neighbouring communities as a result of the railway project.
According to them, access to road, religious centres, electricity and potable water had been cut off as a result of the project. The residents said the development was rather a nightmare for them, although the news of the construction of the Obafemi Awolowo Railway terminal in their community was received with utmost joy but changed when they discovered that all the major access roads had been blocked.
They lamented that the blockage of roads led to breakdown of trading among the various communities in the area, adding that they can no longer carry out some activities, such as trading, while some of their children cannot go to schools and even worship in their different centres because of this issue.
Mrs Silifatu Ganiyu, who has been living in one of the 18 communities since childhood, said she was being denied access to social activities and her business has not been moving.
“We can’t sell our goods, no one to patronise us. We need the path to enable our aged parents and youth to be able to link other communities and to increase our business growth,” she said.
Another resident, Mr Funso Ojo, said the only road that leads to other communities is the railway tunnel, which they consider dangerous, especially when it is dark. Ojo added that it could be a hiding place for criminals to carry out their sinister activities.
Also, one of the elders of Christ Apostolic Church, Oke Gbagbo in the area, Pa Isaac Edunjobi, said they were unhappy because the worshippers had been denied access to the church, saying that the church is in total isolation.
He said: “We are not against their operation but we are appealing to the Federal Government to look for alternative routes so as to ease our day-to-day activities and if they will not do that for any reason, they should relocate us somewhere else.”
Meanwhile, an attempt to get reaction from the railway corporation was not successful but a source told The Guardian that the Federal Government was not yet in charge of the project and has no power to intervene on the matter.