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6 Mar 2018

Knocks, accolades as Aregbesola commissions 2km road in Osogbo

Mixed reactions have continued to trail the tempo of preparedness for the commissioning of a 2-km road coined”Workers Drive” at Osogbo, the Osun State capital, slated for Tuesday, March 6, 2018.
While some described the project as an insignificant feat in comparison with the level of publicity stunt it elicited, saying the notion behind it was not to celebrate workers in the state but to further mock them, others argued it was a worthwhile project to appreciate workers’ endurance and perseverance despite unfavourable economic condition.

A retired civil servant in the state, Mr Joel Alaka said the essence of governance in the state has been defeated going by the “poor welfare condition” of workers in the state.

Alaka explained that social security remains the primary consideration of a serious government, in which the survival of the people is guaranteed and adequately prioritised to ensure happiness and development of potentials.

“This government can not logically justify the need for all the ceremony and publicity that greeted the commissioning of a 2-km road, which has been a source of controversy as to who really bear the chunk of the project’s cost.

“Calling it workers’drive makes no difference so far the terrible economic condition of the people remain unchanged and perpetually unfavourable”, he said.

In the same vein, a social commentator, Mr Sheriff Akintunde rued the state government over what it termed as a contradiction of the earlier position of Governor Rauf Aregbesola on the commissioning of roads.

“The so- called road naming and commissioning today by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is politically motivated and misplaced. It is a foolery against the workers it was supposed to pacify in the first place. Everything is wrong with it. And before anybody argues, I put it straight that the same Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola have in the past contradicted what he is about doing today when he opined that commissioning is not fanciful to his administration because it ends up amounting to waste of money.

“As Aregbesola commissions the Workers Drive Road today, I reflect on this and ask if the reconstruction of just a 2km existing road should attract the fancy of a State Government? This ordinarily is not more than what a Councillor should grade or at best for a Council Chairman to put an asphalt over it”.

” How can we sacrifice workers’ wages to tar a 2km road in the name of the same unpaid civil servants”.

Speaking further on the issue, a member of the civil society in the state, Comrade Suberu Sulaimon alleged that the said road was majorly funded by United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), with a little or nothing from the state government as counterpart fund.

He said the road was purposely constructed to provide easy access to Osun groove, which has been endorsed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.

Meanwhile, a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress(APC) in the state, Mr Siyan Adeyemi has eulogised Aregbesola’s intervention in road construction and necessary infrastructure, adding that the feat recorded by his administration is unprecedented.

Adeyemi opined that there was a conscious efforts by the Aregbesola led administration to change the face of the state through massive infrastructural facility across the state.

According to him, the naming of the road after workers in the state showcased the level of respect Governor Aregbesola has for the workers in the state and his good intention towards their welfare.

“The naming of the road after workers in the state finally vindicates the Governor as being passionate about the workers despite the unfortunate economic downturn that responsible for irregular payment of salaries”.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Mr Adelani Baderinwa in a press statement made available to journalists in Osogbo on Monday said the road was named after the workers in the state “to make their sacrifices, understanding and support for the Aregbesola’s administration indelible in the history and memory of the people of the state”.

Baderinwa commended the workers for their patients, steadfastness and rare commitment to the growth and development of the state in the face of financial turbulence that almost crippled governance in the state.

“Despite the mischief and lies being spread by a minute fraction of senior citizens in the state, the workers have continued to grow stronger and united for the development of the state”.

Baderinwa added that workers in the state were being honoured for their support for Aregbesola’s administration, adding that the occasion would also be an opportunity for the Governor to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, which is the pride of Labour Movement in the country.

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