Residents of Iwaro-Akoko, in the northern senatorial district area of Ondo State, has called on the government to as a matter of national urgency find a lasting solution to the avoidable automobile crashes claiming lives incessantly on the highway which passes through the town.
The residents armed with placards of various inscriptions protested on the ever busy highway which links the southern part of the country to the northern part, urging the Federal Government to declare the road a national disaster zone.
According to some of the residents whose placards read: “No to heavy-duty trucks”, We don’t want to take laws into our hands, please do something”, “Please save our souls,we are dying like fowls”, almost on a weekly basis, fatal accidents caused by articulated vehicles plying the road are recorded.
The protesters disclosed that due to the topography of the area, the heavy -duty trucks often lose control and in the process of veering off the road, they crash into residential buildings as well as shops, killing residents of the town.
While suggesting that the road should be barricaded from allowing articulated vehicles to ply it, as well as providing alternative route, the Acting Chairman of Iwaro Acclaimers Forum, Otunba Dele Ologbese said hundreds of people had been killed from various forms of accidents caused by the trucks.
“Aside the avoidable deaths of our people, property that cannot be quantified had also been lost.
“For the past 20 years, people had been dying from accidents on this road, even just yesterday, two accidents were recorded.
“Government should construct alternative roads from Iwaro, through Oke Oka Isua.
“We are imploring the Federal Government to also reconstruct the roads from Ipele through Ido-Ani, to Isua which had become a death trap and made heavy duty trucks avoid the route, with this, heavy-duty vehicles would vacate Iwaro-Oka road,” he said.
Also, Chairman of Iwaro community, Prince Joseph Alade, said the community had resolved to find a lasting solution to the incessant accidents on the road, which directly affect the community.
“The record of accident victims and casualties are also of daily increase and unbearable to the people of Iwaro community. Also, property worth millions of naira are getting lost to this ugly situation everyday,” he said.
The community leader noted that they wrote to the State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Feb. 22 on the need to urgently come to their rescue.