The partial collapse of the Ohan bridge in Asa local government area of Kwara State, has cut away three local government areas (LGAs) from other parts of the state.
The development has also cut away some parts of Oyo State from Kwara.
The affected local government areas in Kwara are Baruten, Kaiama and Asa.
LEADERSHIP observed that a section of the bridge has caved in, making it impossible for vehicles to pass through it.
The alternative route created by motorists near the bridge cannot be used presently because there was high volume of water, occasioned by the rains.
The development is already taking its toll on the economy of both Kwara and Oyo States as traders from Oke-Ogun axis which has close proximity with Ilorin, the Kwara state capital can no longer travel to Ilorin for business transactions.
The deplorable condition of the Ohan bridge was also hindering transportation of crops and food items from Kaiama/Baruten area regarded as the food basket of Kwara to Ilorin.
Consequently, the major stakeholders, including motorists and traders from both Kwara and Oyo States, who were worried by the deplorable condition of the Ohan bridge, have called on the federal government to urgently fix the bridge.
A non-governmental organisation that is concerned with grassroots engagement – African Grassroots Women Empowerment Foundation – has decried the state of Ohan bridge.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP, the president of the NGO, Mrs Ramatu Gbadamosi, said the deplorable condition of the bridge was taking a huge toll on the NGO’s operations as well as the grassroots dwellers.
“Right now, Ohan bridge is no longer passable. And the bridge is on the road that links Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State with Oyo State. This is the road where we people from the grassroots from the north of Kwara and Oyo use to link Ilorin where we mostly do our purchases.
“Right now, I’m speaking from Igbeti, Olohunsogo local government area of Oyo. We only go to our state capital, Ibadan to do official assignments, but domestically, we in Oyo North do most of our business activities in Ilorin and for almost a week now, Ohan bridge has been unpassable,” she said.
She added that the state of disrepair of the Ohan and Moro bridges was holding the commerce of the areas by the jugular, adding that: “Our rural markets are no longer functioning because customers are not having access to them due to the bad road,” lamenting that as food baskets, the urban areas get their food from the grassroots.
LEADERSHIP recalls that the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the State, had recently visited the site of Ohan bridge and drew the attention of both the state and the Federal Ministry of Works to its deplorable condition.