Inside Osun community where students risk their lives to access school buildings

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BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

This is not the best time for students and pupils in Ilobu community, headquarters of Irepodun Local Government Area of Osun State.

For these school children, attending schools has been a nightmare for them. No thanks to the lack of a good road network to their various schools.

It was gathered that students, pupils and residents of the community at large have been inflicted with pains since the bridge linking the schools and some residential apartments collapsed.

The collapsed bridge, said to have been constructed in 1974 caved in last year, after about fifty years of serving the people.

According to the people, the road where the collapsed bridge is situated is the only “good” road in the community and that the road leading to about three schools and other houses has remained impassable.

The worst hit since the bridge collapsed are about 500 students of Ilobu Commercial Secondary School, ADS Grammar School, Ilobu, said to also have about 500 students and over 700 pupils of a primary school in the area.

Some residents also complained that their buildings have been affected with erosion and flood owing to the dilapidated bridge.

In separate interviews with some of the affected students, one of the ways to access their school buildings is to crawl through the rubbles and shattered concrete of the collapsed structure that now litter within a deep gully and thick bush.

According to them, some of them used to fall whenever it rained before and after school hours, as the road became slippery and more dangerous to thread.

One of the students who simply identified himself as Akeem, said, “We have been suffering greatly since last year when this bridge collapsed. We have no choice than to crawl because past attempts to walk over the collapsed bridge have resulted in injuries.

“In the process of crawling and holding the rubbles, our clothes and hands get dirty. The road becomes worse whenever it rains. There was a day I fell after I slipped. Some of my mates also experienced the same fate.

“We beg the state governor and other concerned authorities to help us construct the bridge so that we can access our schools safely.”

Reacting, the alumni body of the Ilobu Commercial Secondary School lamented the development, saying if nothing is done to make the schools accessible, there would be more school dropouts in the community and that the Sustainable Development Goal 4 which is quality education would be jeopardised.

The alumni association president, Prof. Muftau Ogunsola, urged the state governor, Ademola Adeleke, to direct government officials to visit the collapsed bridge to avert dangers.

Ogunsola also called on the Senator and Representatives from the community in the National and State Assemblies to come to the aid of the students and residents of the community.