OGUN STATE GOV. ABIODUN’S PLEDGE TO FIX JUST ONE SIDE OF LONG-ABANDONED 32km IFO ROAD IS LAUGHABLE AND AN ADMISSION OF FAILURE
*SPN DEMANDS THE COMPLETION OF ALL SECTIONS OF THE DUALISED 32-KILOMETRE ROAD
The decision of the Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, as reported in the Punch newspaper of 31st August 2022, to “fix one side of the 32km Sango-Ota/Ijoko/Olambe/Akute/Alagbole road” in Ifo local government is laughable, an insult to the intelligence of the people of Ifo LGA and an admission of failure by an irresponsible regime which has lost touch with reality.
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), Ifo Local Government Chapter, hereby demands the immediate completion of the entire road (both sides) in order to bring relief to residents and motorists in the area who have been suffering untold hardship due to the crass irresponsibility of the Dapo Abiodun regime and the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). We call on the people of Ogun state especially those in the Ifo local government area not to accept this kind of crass irresponsibility from the government. We urge them to organize to protest and collectively demand that the Ogun state government completes the entire road immediately.
The Sango-Ota/Ijoko/Olambe/Akute/Alagbole road is a dualised 32-kilometre road that serves as an important link between Ogun state and Lagos State but which has been abandoned since the second term tenure of Dapo Abiodun’s predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. For Governor Dapo Abiodun to now come around few months to the end of his tenure with a promise to fix not even both sides of the road but just one side is a sign of the complete cluelessness and disconnection of the APC regime from the mass of the people.
We beg to ask the following questions: if the State government fixes one side of the road by December 2022, when will it fix the second side? In the meantime, how would motorists ply a dualised road with one side untarred and one side tarred? Would the untarred side be closed down while motorists ply only the tarred portion? That the Dapo Abiodun government could think up this kind of laughable intention shows the shamelessness of the regime, and its desperation to do anything to win a second term in the 2023 general elections.
Despite coming to power since over three years ago, the Dapo Abiodun regime has failed to continue the construction of the road despite pleas from residents of the communities affected by the abandon of the road. In fact, so bad is the situation that about a year ago, frustrated community members and motorists had to force open the barricaded uncompleted overhead bridges which dots the entire length of the 32km road. The implication of the usage of the uncompleted overhead bridges over the past one year by motorists including articulated vehicles is that some of these overhead bridges are likely to have suffered irreparable structural damage which may require their complete dismantlement.
For Governor Dapo Abiodun and his cronies, this of course is not a problem. As the Yoruba adage goes, a hunch-back cow is a big gain for the butcher. The abandonment of the road and the resultant irreparable structural damage that portions of the uncompleted road especially bridges may have suffered due to usage, only means that the contract sum for constructing the road will increase exponentially due to the possible need to demolish the overhead bridges. This is aside the fact that the increase in inflation, cost of materials, labour and other economic indices since the road was abandoned would most likely have added to the contract sum thereby leading to more money going into the pocket of contractors who are cronies and fronts of the corrupt politicians in the ruling APC. Therefore, at the end of the day, it is the people who lose while the corrupt politicians smile to the bank. It is for this reason that the SPN has been demanding an end to the corrupt contract system and for the setting up of democratically-managed public works department to handle all infrastructural projects.
In conclusion, it is important to remind the people of Ifo Local Government and Ogun State in general that there is nothing happening today in terms of the absolute failure and irresponsibility of the Dapo Abiodun government that we did not warn about. Our party had warned back then during the 2019 general elections that the ruling APC could not be trusted to deliver on genuine infrastructural development. In fact, the SPN’s candidate for Ifo II constituency in the House of Assembly elections in Ogun state, Comrade Hassan Taiwo Soweto, had warned that unless the people of Ifo local government were prepared to struggle and massively vote for an alternative political party with socialist programme like the SPN, there was no guarantee that any government formed by the APC, PDP or other anti-poor political parties would deliver true development to the people.
Unfortunately, our party’s candidate did not win due to massive rigging and manipulation by the ruling party and other pro-rich parties. However, the fact that our warning has now come to pass today is a clear indication to the people of Ogun state and Ifo local government that only the SPN has a genuine program to deliver on infrastructure development without corruption and wastage of resources.
We therefore end by urging all those who are prepared to fight for genuine infrastructural development in Ogun state and a government that uses the resources of the state to meet the needs of the people to join the SPN today. Even though the SPN will be unable to put forward candidates in the next general election due to its undemocratic deregistration by INEC, joining the SPN can help accelerate the process of forming and building a genuine mass workers party with Socialist programme as an alternative to the anti-poor parties like the APC and PDP.
Comrade Akande Abiola
Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) Ifo LGA Chapter