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Complete initial route to Owu Water Falls, Kwara community to government

Indigenes of Owa-Onire community in Ile-Ire district of the Ifelodun local government area of Kwara state have appealed to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to complete the initial route to Owu waterfalls, started in 2008 by former governor Bukola Saraki.

 

In a five-page statement by the Concerned Indigenes of Owa Onire community, jointly signed by its coordinator, Mr Adebola Ogunbiyi, and its spokesperson, Sunday Akanbi, the people advised the government to discard plans for the construction of a 21-kilometer road leading to Owu waterfalls in the community, describing the move as wasteful.

Their call came barely three days after the state executive council approved a fresh contract for the construction of a 21-kilometer road leading to Owu falls, with its first phase planned to cost over N3.9 billion.

The people argued that the initial contract, started by the Saraki administration, is already 20 percent completed and should be executed to completion rather than initiating a fresh contract for another route for the same purpose.

According to the group the initial contractor, “Bulletine Construction Company Nigeria Limited,” has worked on and asphalted three kilometers of the 15-kilometer Owu-falls road project from Iwo/Sabaja-Isin-Oba-Isin-Owa-Onire-Owu-falls.

“Only three kilometers out of the 15 km road stretch (representing only 20 percent) from Iwo/Sabaja-Isin to Oba-Isin was tarred, while the remaining 12 km from Oba-Isin-Owa-Onire-Owu falls was only opened up to the foot of the waterfall and eventually abandoned since 2010 after millions of Naira had been committed to the project.”

The people said that the state government was deceived into awarding another contract by some politicians they described as selfish.

“In terms of distance, the remaining 12 km road is shorter than the fresh 21 km road, with a difference of 9 km. This 12 km road from Owa-Onire leads directly to the foot of the falls without having to alight from the vehicle and trek a certain hilly distance, unlike the other road.

“Not less than 10 communities along this 12 km linear road will have it pass through them and benefit directly (Ijara-Isin, Iji-Isin, Owu-lsin, Sabaja-Isin, Oba-Isin, and Owa-Onire) or serve indirectly (lwo-Isin, Kudu Owode, Pamo-lsin, Odo-Ore) and could prompt swift growth in their socio-economic development;

“The geophysical nature of the 12 km Oba-Isin-Owa-Onire Owu-Falls road makes it less hilly, thereby making its construction less laborious than the other road,” they posited.

“In terms of the cost of construction, one needs no soothsayer to know that the short distance of 12 km Oba-Isin-Owa-Onire-Owu-Falls road with an easy geophysical nature will certainly have its cost of construction reduced to the barest minimum compared to a longer 21 km road with more mountainous hilly terrain.

“More glaring is the fact that the 12 km Oba-Isin-Owa-Onire-Owu-Falls road has been in use and is currently still in use by tourists to visit the great Water Falls.”

They reminded Governor Abdulrahman of his promise on Sunday, December 15, 2019, to complete the abandoned 15 km road.

“We see this as very unfair, and we abhor it. In view of all the above-highlighted reasons, Owa-Onire Community is hereby appealing to Governor Abdulrahman and the innermost conscience of the state government to revisit the issue of Owu-Falls road construction project with a view to right the wrongs by also awarding the construction and completion of this 12km Oba-Isin-Owa-Onire-Owu-Falls road to a serious and competent contractor that will ensure its completion with fiat to avoid a repeat of the abandonment it suffered during the former Governor Bukola Saraki administration.

Recall that Owu falls is the highest waterfall in West Africa, measuring 120 meters above water level and cascading 330 feet down an escarpment, a major boost for tourism not just in the state but in Nigeria and the West Africa subregion.

 

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