It was a total gridlock, bumper to bumper, not even an inch of space for any soul to walk past. The roads were terrible. It had pot holes filled with water. It was the rainy season and there was no bypass. This was the only road that led in and out of Akuoye and politicians capitalized on the fact that they could easily gather mammoth crowd on this road to listen to their readymade lies. They didn’t need to hire any special place for their campaigns in Akuoye. Election in and election out; they used this road for their electioneering fête.
“As soon as I get elected, the first thing I will do is to award the contract for the rehabilitation of this Akuoye highway that connects Idorin and Udoeye towns”. This sentence always seemed well rehearsed, up to the point that even in his dreams any politician vying for the most coveted seat in Akuoye State, the governorship post, would recite it without a hitch. All the citizens of the state had witnessed the same promise being made every four years for the past two decades, but nothing was ever done about actually reconstructing the road.
In the first 100 days after swearing in a governor for either the second term or a fresh tenure, caterpillars and all sorts of heavy duty equipment will be mobilized to site and there will be such a momentum of work force that one would think that within twilight, the whole road would be finished. There is always this initial joy that welcomes the mobilization of the work forces to the site for visitors but for those indigenes, who have witnessed similar mobilizations in the past, it was just a political gimmick, so they usually just exhale and wave their hands over the manipulations. In fact, there was this expression that was often used in Akuoye when trying to find out the date of an event that is planned around an election period, the invitees would often ask, ‘before or after faKcon?’ Fakcon meant fake constructions!
Within two months, the whole project would be abandoned. The heavy duty trucks, caterpillars and bulldozers would decamp and leave the road in a far worse off state than when they first met it. What exactly was the jinx about this road that could not be broken? Different governors and governments gave different versions as to why the road was in such a state, yet this was the singular most important road that connected to three towns that were the economic lifelines of the state.
The rubber plantation was located at Idorin. There was well over 200 hectares of rubber plantation there that supplied latex for export, which brought in foreign earnings for the state, yet the road was in such a dilapidated state! The big trucks that transported this latex were constantly making the road to become worse off and they were also a major source of traffic and road mishaps. What sort of a government would be so indifferent to the infrastructural decay of the source of economic earnings for the state that they loot and live such luxuriant lifestyles from? The grief generated by this terrible road was unfathomable.
One certain time, a popular journalist from Akuoye tried to pry into the office of the state statistics to get the figures of the death and accident cases on this road. His name was Mr. Ikunni, but Ikunni just disappeared one day after work before the figures could be made public.