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Ekiti: Motorists stranded as poly students, staff barricade highway over bad road

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The ever-busy Ado-Ekiti federal highway linking Ekiti State with Kogi Ondo and Abuja, among other destinations, was on Monday barricaded for several hours by angry students and some staff of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, over poor state of the road network.

The protesters, in their large numbers, prevented commuters and motorists from passing the road, thereby causing heavy traffic congestion, which led to a gridlock for the greater part of the day.

FIDELINFO reports that the road also links important institutions such as the Government College, Ado-Ekiti, the Federal Silos Centre, the cargo airport under construction, and Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, ABUAD, and its 400-bed Multi-System Hospital.

During the peaceful protest, which they said was aimed at calling the attention of Federal Government and other relevant authorities to the state of the road, the students lamented that it is the only road that leads to their campus.

Two of them, Kola Ayodele and Funmilola Moses, said it is now an herculean task accessing the school from the city, thereby posing dangers to their lives.

They alleged that many students and commuters had died on the road due to its deplorable state.

Another student, who pleaded anonymity, said they had been coping with the situation, expecting that the condition of the road would change soon, until few days ago when scores of parents and newly matriculated students of the polytechnic had to trek the about 15-kilometre road back to the city, because of non-availability of vehicles to convey them back.

Also speaking, the Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, Mr Sunday Akomolafe, Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, Mr Adebayo Daramola and Chairman, Non-Academic Staff Union, Adebayo Abubakar, said the protest became necessary after government turned deaf ears to their plea over the years regarding the road.

According to them, the road had become a death trap.

They alleged that more than five persons had died within this year alone as a result of accidents occasioned by the poor state of the road.

The staff noted that they had, on several occasions, contributed personal resources to repair certain portions of the road.

They however noted that the condition of the road was beyond patching as it requires a total reconstruction.

They vowed to continue to barricade the road unless government took necessary action.

Some of the motorists and commuters, who were stranded in the traffic, commended the polytechnic staff and student for embarking on the protest, saying the condition of the road is affecting their finances.

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