I read with interest Mr. Soni Asuelimen authored piece titled “Amosun, ACN, and the Decay of Ota”, which appeared on page 15 of the Monday, September 24, 2012 edition of this newspaper. In that piece the writer alleged that Governor Ibikunle Amosun administration in Ogun State had not delivered social amenities to the people of Ota Local Government Area.
Mr. Asuelimen must be a resident of Ota area to be familiar with the specificities of the vicinity. However, in the write up he failed to present the reality on the ground. His submissions were substantially untrue. Governor Amosun is committed to urban renewal and this is signposted by the rehabilitation and construction of roads.
He met a near-collapse of social infrastructure, but within the last 16 months the governor has kept faith with his promises to the people despite the huge debt burden he inherited and the lean purse of the state.
Interestingly, the writer acknowledged the disappearance of heaps of refuse dumps along Abeokuta-Lagos Express road, but he failed to commend the government for ensuring free flow of traffic in and around Sango Under Bridge by dislodging traders and others urchins that often caused traffic snarl in that section of the town.
Again, though he acknowledged the neglect of Ota LGA by the Gbenga Daniel administration, Mr. Asuelimen failed to appreciate that this neglect of eight years cannot be ameliorated in just 16 months!
The government is well aware of its social responsibilities to the people and possesses the capacity to turn the fortune of the state around, but patience needs to be exercised. The inherited rot is deep. The citizenry as well as public commentators need to appreciate that failed roads cannot be fixed in a hurry.
The administration is faced with situations where some roads failed less than four months after they were commissioned by the last administration. Such roads in Ota include Adalemo Road, Adalemo-Ijamido Townhall Road and Animashaun- Abeokuta-Lagos Express way Road. It is painful that the write-up, which ordinarily ought to contain hard facts, was bereft of them. For instance, the claim that the Atan-Agbara road is ‘derelict’ is complete fallacy.
The 19 kilometer road was recently rehabilitated by officials of the State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure. The first phase of the Ojuore-Ilogbo road has been reconstructed and was commissioned during the administration’s first year anniversary in May, 2012.
The reconstruction of the four kilometer road was done in partnership with Shell Nigeria Limited. Construction work is presently ongoing on the second phase of the road to effectively link Oju-ore with Ilogbo town. The writer can go and cross-check these facts.
Failed portions of roads across the state left unattended by the last administration are being systematically rehabilitated under the zero-tolerance for potholes policy of this administration.
The failed portions of Ado-Odo-Owode road, also in Ado-Odo/ Ota LGA are presently under repairs. Ota Township has equally benefited enormously from this drive. It now has a new motor park, courtesy of the state government.
The contract for the 4.8 kilometer Ilo- Awela road will soon be awarded. When completed by the end of next year the road will link up with the popular Joju Roundabout in Ota. Other projects in the pipeline are the 32 kilometer Sango-Ijoko-Agbado- Oke Aro-Akute-Ojodu Abiodun road, which will be executed through Contractor- Finance arrangement. When completed, the road, which will run through towns in Ogun West and Ogun Central senatorial districts, will have about four pedestrian bridges in between.
The remarks of Mr. Asuelimen on the alleged poor state of primary and secondary education in the state do no credit to the effort of the administration in reviving that sector. If there is an area where the administration is drawing most plaudits, it is in the education sector. Governor Amosun has backed his free and qualitative education policy with massive construction and renovation of primary and secondary schools buildings. The State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) is a collaborator here.
Textbooks, exercise books and instructional materials are distributed free to pupils and students in these schools. The governor has also restored the payment of running cost, which was stopped in 2004 by the last administration to assist in administering these schools.
Undoubtedly, the issue of power outage is not peculiar to Ogun State and power generation is outside the purview of state governments. Nevertheless, the Ogun State government recently purchased and distributed 500 transformers to needy communities across the state to boost electricity supply. Surely, several communities in Ota LGA benefitted from this programme.
I believe Mr. Asuelimen’s remark that the trademark cap of the Governor gives an “impression of lackadaisical governance” is totally out of place in what is expected to be a fair commentary. Around this time last year armed robbers laid siege on the state. The administration confronted the problem frontally. I doubt if that qualifies as “lackadaisical governance”.
Balogun, email@example.com, is a media aide to Ogun State governor