By Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Osun State governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Thursday inaugurated the Alekuwodo network of roads in Osogbo, the state capital.
The governor said his administration was committed to infrastructure development as part of efforts to improve socioeconomic activities and drive the economy of the State.
This is even as the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, lauded Oyetola for giving Osogbo a modern facelift of development, saying distractors should stop their antics and support the governor to deliver more dividends.
The roads which were constructed in 1986 were last rehabilitated when Osun was still under the old Oyo State, that is before the creation of Osun in 1991.
The rehabilitation of the roads was approved by the State Executive Council in February this year, while the roads were subsequently awarded and completed within eight months, and handed over in September, 2020.
The Alekuwodo roads network spanned Akindeko-Awosuru Link road, Adejumo street with Oremeji spur, Akinlade street, Isopako street, Adewale street, Ajigbotoluwa with loop to WAEC road.
Addressing the people at the inauguration ceremony, Oyetola said the rehabilitation of the roads was in fulfilment of his electoral promises to raise the bar of infrastructure, ease socio-economic activities and stimulate the economy of the State.
“We are therefore here today to deliver on our promise to rehabilitate the roads as part of the needs you put forward during our Thank You tour.
“Consequently, we are commissioning today, Akindeko-Awosuru Link Road, Adejumo Street with loop to WAEC Road, Oremeji Spur Road, Akinlade Street Road and Adewale Street Road.
“I am happy to inform you that some of these roads are installed with solar light to ensure safety and security of lives and property.
“The roads that we are commissioning today were completed within eight months of award, despite the lockdown occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic. The contracts were awarded in February 2020 and the rehabilitation was completed in September the same year.
“The completion of these roads despite the Covid-19 challenges is an indication of the seriousness we attach to your welfare and the mileage we are ready to go to take care of your interest.
“I rejoice with you for taking delivery of these roads, which are undertaken to ease your business operations, stimulate your accessibility and economic productivity, ease your movement and those of your goods, make life better for you and generally improve your socio-economic activities.
“As you are all aware, our Administration prioritises infrastructure development, knowing its importance as the bedrock of the vibrant economy that we desire to move the State forward, and good road network is a core component of this enterprise.
“We believe that in achieving the economic transformation and the good life that we seek, we need to provide good road network across the State.
“This is the reason we have been giving attention to provision of intra-city, inter-city and rural roads across the State”, Oyetola added.
While reaffirming commitment to repositioning the State through massive infrastructure development, he said his Administration shall “soon be embarking on the construction and rehabilitation of Ejigbo township road, Ido Osun township road, Gbongan township road, Ile-Ife township road, Kuta township road, GOF-Ori-Oke Pure Water road, Osogbo, Halelluyah Estate, Osogbo, Inisa township road, Ila-Arandun road and Ikirun township road among others”.
Governor Oyetola said the provision of the roads was an addition to the provision of 332 primary healthcare centres, one per ward, revitalisation of schools and institution of Osun Health Insurance Scheme to deliver quality and affordable healthcare to the people, including the people of Alekuwodo.
Speaking, Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, said the rehabilitation of the roads which had been neglected and left in a deplorable state for years was a clear testimony to the fact that Oyetola was a pro-masses Governor.
The revered traditional ruler who passed vote of confidence in the Governor and endorsed his giant strides in the last two years, described Oyetola as a God’s sent to deliver Osun from the obvious infrastructure deficits and socio-economic quagmire, warning detractors to steer clear of the State.
He added: “If not for Oyetola, the rehabilitation of Alekuwodo roads would have been difficult because it takes one with extra- ordinary passion and love for the masses to see the need for such roads to be fixed. Oyetola had proved himself as a sincere leader, promise keeper and people friendly Governor.
“As we all know, these roads suffered negligence for so many years. We have leaders from the other party as residents here. However, for the period they were in power, they failed to fix the roads when their party was in government.
“So, it is a thing of joy that the present administration has deemed it worthwhile to fix these roads to stimulate the economy of this area in particular and the state in general as this initiative would go a long way to bring about positive impact to the lives of the residents of this place.
“As we have been told, this project is just a tip of the iceberg as many of it are underway. It is my prayer that this administration would continue to prosper.
“I am calling on all and sundry to rally round the Governor by giving him our unalloyed support to succeed. This is a government that meant well for us. We don’t need in-fighting but cordiality. We must remain united and stop fanning ember of discord”, he added.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Remi Omowaye, expressed gratitude to the Governor for giving express approval to rehabilitate the roads.
He disclosed that similar approval had been given to construction, rehabilitation and opening up of 20 different roads across the State just as he advised the residents of Alekuwodo to put the roads in good use.
Also, the Chairman, Peculiar Ultimate Concerns, Mr. Abel Olanrewaju Adeleke, said the roads were financed through Public Private Partnership arrangement as 52.5km of roads were considered across the three Senatorial Districts in the State.