The bridge, linking Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) and Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti with several towns and villages in Ekiti and Ondo states, was yesterday washed off by the flood.
Apart from ABUAD and the polytechnic, those traveling to Gbonyin, Ikole and Ekiti East local councils, as well as those traveling to Akoko area of Ondo State made use of the bridge.
An eyewitness told The Guardian that the flood swept away one person, whose lifeless body was retrieved at about 7:00 a.m. yesterday while two were rescued during their attempt to go out of the vehicle and cross to the other side.
The bridge, which became submerged by 7:30 p.m. on Monday, left several commuters going in and out of the state capital stranded for several hours.
According to another eyewitness, Mr. Dapo Ojo, few vehicles were able to cross the narrow portion of the bridge before it finally collapsed.
“As you can see that white Toyota Sienna that fell inside the ditch, the owner was very unlucky. His car was the last to find a way to cross the bridge but he could not make it to the other side.
Some residents of the polytechnic road, who spoke with The Guardian, chided both the federal and Ekiti State governments for their lukewarm attitude towards the repairs or reconstruction of the bridge and a bypass that could have served as an alternate route.
Mr. Akinloye Idowu wondered why the Federal Government has not deemed it fit to repair the bridge since a flood washed off part of it on August 28, this year.
“We know this is a federal road but why has the state government not provided another road that could serve as an alternative. Our government must take responsibility for this crisis,” he said.
Another resident, Mrs. Rebecca Oluwadusi, wondered why a road linking institutions like ABUAD and the federal polytechnic where all members of staff of the institutions pass-through should be left in such condition despite the fact that the workers pay their taxes.
Meanwhile, Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, who visited the scene, appealed for calm, saying the state government will ensure that the bridge is put back to the proper shape.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, confirmed the death, saying: “Yes, I can confirm to you that one man died after he was drowned in water.”
Special Adviser on Road Transport and Infrastructure to Governor Kayode Fayemi, Adunmo Rufus, who was at the bridge supervising the palliative works being done, said the disconnected section would be reconnected within the next few hours.