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Osun: Controversy rages over road projects


Osun: Controversy rages over road projects

Road projects have remained subject of controversies in Osun State, one administration after another.

The Rauf Aregbesola administration from 2010 to 2018 embarked on grand scale road reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Being a former Commissioner for Works in Lagos State from 1999 to 2007, Aregbesola as Governor of Osun State started the rehabilitation of several roads, including Trunk A roads which were supposedly the responsibility of the Federal Government.

Having implemented the idea in Lagos, he set about to replicate the same in Osun.

Also, the administration started 10 kilometres of road in each of the 30 local government areas and one area office in the state.

Controversy started when the administration could not complete some of the road projects and allegedly neglected projects in the western part of the state.

Then came the Adegboyega Oyetola administration in November, 2018. Owing to perceived political consideration and interest, he was said to have neglected to complete roads begun by his predecessor.

He was criticised for abandoning roads in the Osun West Senatorial district.

The current governor, Ademola Adeleke hails from Ede zone of Osun West and so it was perceived that the Adegboyega Oyetola administration chose to neglect most roads in the that part of the state since it was a stronghold of Adeleke and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

But to the surprise of many, the administration in its twilight started the construction and rehabilitation of some major roads in the zone.

Though commendable, it still drew criticisms, especially from the PDP. Another reason for the abandonment of some roads was the silent supremacy battle between Adegboyega Oyetola and his predecessor, Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Interior.

The battle tore the Osun APC into two warring factions, as the party went on to lose the 2022 gubernatorial election and also National Assembly positions, but for one seat in the State House of Assembly.

Also, the PDP in the state started raising alarm over the award of road contracts by the Oyetola administration weeks before the 2022 gubernatorial election and afterwards.

Ademola Adeleke, the then PDP guber candidate, who emerged victorious at the end of the election, also threatened not to honour any contract which was awarded after the election by the Oyetola administration.

He accused Oyetola of laying landmines for his incoming administration because the state is not financially buoyant.

Ademola Adeleke administration

On his inauguration in November 27, 2022, Governor Ademola Adeleke promised to complete all uncompleted projects before embarking on his own.

To mark his 100 days in office, Adeleke commissioned several projects within the state.

Part of the projects commissioned included roads especially in the Ede zone. He finally commissioned the Osogbo-Ikirun-Ila-Odo road.

The commissioning of the Osogbo-Ikirun-Ila-Odo road became another source of bickering between the PDP-led administration and the APC.

Osun APC through its acting Chairman, Tajudeen Lawal and the media aide to former governor Adegboyega Oyetola, all claimed that Adeleke was taking glory for what he did not begin.

They claimed that Adeleke just came to finish the work that Oyetola would have completed except that he lost the gubernatorial election in 2022.

Meanwhile, despite the government’s efforts, residents are still complaining of several bad roads in the state.

In a recent radio programme in Osogbo, residents of Ori-Oke Pure Water, a suburb in Osogbo, the state capital, complained of the bad nature of their road.

The residents complained that they were the ones contributing money to repair the culvert connecting their community to other parts of Osogbo.

They called on the Osun State Government to fix the road.

Replying, the spokesperson to Governor Ademola Adeleke, Olawale Rasheed stated that, “This is referred to the relevant agency for action. The four-month old administration inherited a huge infrastructure deficit which is being fixed in phases.

“All your notices are recorded for action. Be aware of the huge infrastructure deficit inherited by Governor Adeleke and ongoing efforts to rebuild the roads in phases.”

The Osun State government also declared that it is embarking on the delivery of massive road infrastructure across the state to expand the economy of the state.

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