By Kennedy Ikantu Peretei.
Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, was in Osogbo the Osun State capital on the invitation of the outgoing Governor, Gboyega Oyetola to commission a flyover yesterday.
Perhaps, the event would not have needed any mention, but for the irony and shamelessness associated with it. Even if Akeredolu was invited to the ceremony, he should have declined, if only to save himself from embarrassment.
It is common knowledge that Akure is the only state capital in the southwest without single fly over. Osogbo has a population of 750,000 (2022) while Akure has 717,000 (2022). Osun state does not collect as much money as Ondo State from the federation account monthly. Statistics of average monthly allocation to States in 2022 showed that Osun state is number 36 with N1.506b and Ondo state is number 13 with an average of N4.412b monthly.
It is only a shameless man who celebrates the sumptuousness of the meals from a neighbour’s wife, while his wife is unable to prepare meals for him at home.
There are several intersections in the city of Akure that can make do with flyovers. The roundabout at NEPA is always chaotic at peak hours. The same with Governor’s Office roundabout connecting the Federal Secretariat and Oda road with heavy vehicular presence among several others. Yet, Akeredolu can travel all the way to Osogbo to celebrate what he himself is unable to do in Ondo State.
Under previous PDP government, those routes that created major head ache for motorists in Akure were immediately addressed. Oba Adesida road was decongested by dualising the 2.5km Arakale-Isikan road, with parking lots at several locations along the road. Central parking lots were created for shoppers around Oja Oba and Olukayode Shopping mall, all for easing the frustrating gridlock associated with these roads.
Most of the roads in Akure are no longer motorable, courtesy of potholes. Akeredolu who suns himself in the vain glory of dualising Hospital road from Eso junction, has not much to talk about. The other road projects in Oda and Ijoka roads have taken like forever to complete or may be completed by the next PDP administration.
The Ondo State Agency for Road Maintenance and Construction ( OSARMCO) that ensured that potholes or failed portions of roads are immediately repaired has been on vacation since Akeredolu assumed office in 2017.
How it is that Oyetola waited till the last few days of his lack lustre administration in Osun State to invite his underperforming counterpart from Ondo is difficult to unravel. Why did he invite a man whose state capital does not know what it feels like to have a flyover?
Ondo state is the only oil producing state in southwest Nigeria, yet it has next to nothing to show for its jumbo allocation in the last five years or so. Only lamentations and frustration.
It would have been more honourable and dignifying, if Akeredolu had politely declined the invitation to commission the Osogbo flyover.