Re: Dapo Abiodun And Burden Of Inherited Infrastructure Deficit

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By Tunde Bello

I was shocked to read one article written by one, Seye Abodunrin, praising Ogun State Governor, Prince DAPO Abiodun titled: DAPO Abiodun and Burden of Inherited Infrastructure Deficit.

I am sorry for this writer doing a hatchet job in the said article. It is even more shameful that Mr. Abodunrin is writing from Ijoko, one of the most neglected areas with an abandoned historical link network of roads initiated by the former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, which Dapo failed to continue.

The Governor should note that Amosun never planned to leave such a legacy project like others uncompleted, which would be mentioned thereafter, but unfortunately, time was not on his side.

Amosun can be credited to have begun the modernization of Ogun State. The solid template he laid during his administration has been hailed by the people, and even beyond the shores of the state as enduring and result-oriented.

A man of great vision; versatility and a manager of resources, history will judge his administration.

Indeed, it is even more curious to see the writer alleging one-sided development in the Gateway state at that time.

I dare say that all the rubbish that Abodunrin said about the one-sided development of Amosun showed his gross error judgment and his co-travelers, about Amosun’s plan for the State capital and across the state.

Amosun was a man in a hurry. His commitment and daily routines were driven by passion, great energy, and competitiveness to make the state rank among the best of its peers.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t play his politics right, otherwise, his failed successor would have continued his good programmes for the fast growth and rapid development of Ogun State that the people yearned for as they will become spectacles to behold.

But come to think of it, who even says Amosun’s programmes are not spread across the vast length and breadth of Ogun State? What will you say of the development and two bridges he built in Ijebu-Ode to reduce the perennial risk of lives on the Ijebu-Ode Expressway and other development scattered in Shagamu, Ijebu-Igbo, Ilaro, and that fantastic network of link road between Sango and Berger, near Lagos?

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That long stretch of road is laid with many communities with huge populations; Ijoko, Agbado, Lambe, Akute, Adiyan, and many neighbouring communities.

It is also worthy of note that the abundant socio-economic benefits of the road to the people of the state and others, cannot be overemphasized because of its closeness to Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub.

A lot of development would have sprouted from this axis, which would further boost the revenue of the State.

I remember opposition groups swallowed their pride and even openly commended the giant strides of the former Governor for his uncommon commitment to drive the state beyond the way he met it. The PDP governorship candidate, Mr. Segun Sowunmi, always remembers this golden era, as Amosun’s achievements might have encouraged him to contest for the exalted seat in the 2023 general elections.

Let Abodunrin be told that government is a continuum.

If a successor in a neighbouring state, such as Lagos, could continue the projects of their predecessors with such attendant advantages and massive development seen now and over the years, is worth emulating, why not replicate it in Ogun state?

This is why even the most critical observers continue to praise ex-Governor of the state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, now, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the giant strides the state witnessed during his eight years administration, even years after he left. Fashola, never abandoned the dream, ditto others.

Tinubu has a 25-year master plan for Lagos.
Today, “Eko” has become the envy of not only other states in the Federation, but also countries from Africa, America, Asia, and Europe, which wanted to adopt such a development to enhance their development.

Another typical example was Senator Adam Oshiomhole, who was then Edo’s Governor and came to understudy Fashola to replicate what he had seen in Lagos.

Let us forget the strategic place of Lagos. In my own belief, even with such advantages without a proper plan laid and commitment by its drivers, the development seen in the State today would not have been possible and a mirage.

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I was able to see the master plan of Amosun for the state from the Kara market to Ijebu axis and Ilaro axis including Ota, nothing can best be compared to see fast development of his fatherland.

Sadly, the indigenes of the State would regret for not voting Akinlade, his chosen successor.
This is especially so, as the state internal roads network is in complete shambles, lacking maintenance and reconstruction, just as new ones beckon for succor, which they could not get under the current dispensation.

Although Governor Dapo Abiodun. would lay claim to have constructed schools, bridges, or some roads across the state, the result of the last heavy rainfall in the state, with its attendant flooding and loss of lives, left much to be desired.

But former Governor, Amosun, has Dubai in mind to replicate in the state. He expressed dismay at the fast development of Dubai within 20 years; and wondered why such a spectacle cannot be repeated in Nigeria.

Let me take this opportunity to ask Dapo why he decided to abandon the Abeokuta Mall, which was about 90 percent completed at the time Amosun left.

All the necessary equipment needed are available to complete this gigantic project. It is rusting away. God knows when the cement and other iron used would start to wear away.

Another disappointing and poor judgment of Dapo is for him to abandon such a state-of-the-art educational infrastructure built by the former Governor, spread in all the nooks and crannies of Ogun State.

They were Model Colleges with all the facilities. This infrastructure exists in Ikenne, Wasimi, Odeda, Ilaro, etc, yet Dapo abandoned them and is in deplorable condition.

Reptiles, weeds, and other dangerous animals now daily torment the people who dare to go there. He has converted one of these buildings into a Tech hub.

Each building costs about N2 billion. Instead, he went to start a Cargo airport, despite the closeness of an airport at Ikeja (Lagos) and Ibadan, not to even talk of the proposed Lekki airport. All these would make the cargo airport useless and unattractive to imaginary users. The taxpayers’ money, regrettably, is wasted.

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It is quite a shame to see the deplorable state of Abeokuta Express Road. And a disgrace to all the State stakeholders. All three senators should be blamed and ashamed of themselves; ditto the Federal Lawmakers and state House of Assembly members.

I am not leaving out our traditional rulers, including all the companies within this corridor of this blame.

Truly, It is a federal road; but my problem with the Ogun State Governor is why he decided to do the road when he knew the state wouldn’t act quickly. They would have left the road to be done by the FG, to witness the magic hand of the no-nonsense Senator David Umahi, the Minister of Works.

One can imagine the loss of trillions of naira by companies, individuals, schools, and the various arms of government here. Can you imagine how many goods have been destroyed, not to mention trucks and other heavy vehicles that fell splitting their goods worth millions of naira on the bad roads?And with those unable to reach their destination, it is always a harrowing experience.

How many lives have also been lost, not to mention the man-hours lost and other related issues that impair business growth? These are other critical issues to mention.
One thing I noticed Ogun State Governor for, is his speedy action to adopt federal policy. One such is CNG vehicles introduced by the Tinubu government, but where are the roads on which to drive the vehicles?

Another sad moment is the neglect of the rehabilitation of Federal roads, especially the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway by President Tinubu. He has quickly forgotten his historic comment at Abeokuta; EMILOKAN. This in fact should have spurred him to do the road.
To me, Ogun State is currently not in safe hands. It is, indeed, crawling. However, all hope is not lost. All hands must be on the deck to salvage it from total collapse.

TUNDE BELLO, is the Publisher of Global Times International Magazine/Online (globaltimesmag3@gmail.com)

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