By Sarafa Ibrahim
On the day of his inauguration, Governor Ademola Adeleke made some chilling promises. Recognizing the deplorable conditions of public infrastructure in the state, Governor Adeleke declared that it will “no longer going to be business as usual. And I repeat, it is no longer business as usual.”
It was daring, just as it sounded too good to be true, that many were skeptical about the realization of that pledge. And you can’t really blame them, knowing well the uninspiring outlook of things that the governor inherited from the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government. The reality of a strained treasury was enough reason for the doubts that trailed the governor’s pledge. It was really a mess.
Seven months in office, it was clear to all, even to his most ardent critics, that Governor Adeleke indeed meant business. Of course, the purse of the state is lean as a result of the gross mismanagement of the past, nevertheless, Governor Adeleke has been able to show to the people what genuine leadership can deliver for them in just a short time in office.
Take it from the Osogbo-Ikirun-Ila Odo dual carriage road, and you will definitely be marveled at the exceptional changes that Governor Adeleke has brought to the state. The 10.5km road was the second phase of the East bypass road started by the Rauf Aregbesola administration in 2013 but was neglected by his successor, Gboyega Oyetola, owing to the bitter politics that defined his four years in office.
Although Governor Adeleke and Aregbesola didn’t share the same party yet he mobilized contractors back to site and delivered the road for the use of the people within his first 100 days in office. It was so unprecedented that the then Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who was represented at the road commissioning by the Federal Controller of Works for Osun State, Engr. Orisaleye Ayodeji, stressed the importance of the road, which according to him, connects “Osun and other States to the Northern part of the country. That is why we are delighted that Governor Adeleke continued the projects.”
Sammy Adigun, the Chairman/CEO of Sammya Nigeria Ltd, the construction company that handles the road project, helped made so much sense on the impact that the completion of that road will have on Osun, pointing out how it will shore up the standard of living of the people. This is because the road solves the agonizing pains that motorists and travellers have endured on that road over the years, bolstering the prospect of trade and economic activities between the state and the Northern part of Nigeria.
The story is not so different for the 51km Iwo-Osogbo road. This road links at least six local governments in the state and serves as an important gateway for Osun state with the most populous city in Africa, Ibadan. At completion, the road will not just facilitate ease of movements, but contribute significantly to the economic renaissance of the state.
Internal road networks are getting the needed facelifts, bringing development closer to the people at the grassroots and even more appealing, stretch the development projects across the state. Between November 27, 2022 and now, Governor Adeleke has delivered 31km of road in the state and no fewer than 47km are at various stages of completion.
The relief that the construction of the 1.2km Oja Oba (Iso Ata/Iso Isu/Iso Eran/Iso Ewe) First Baptist Model Academy with Spur to Oba Oyetona Street in Osogbo has brought to the people can not be overstated just as the construction of the 1km John Mackay (Oke Ayepe)-Constain road has opened up Osogbo to Obokun.
In Ikirun, Ifelodun local government, the story is not any different as Governor Adeleke’s administration has delivered the 1.2km Monday Market-Station road, providing easy access for goods and services to reach that important economic hub. In the same Ikirun, the construction of the 1.5km Iyana Saturday-General Hospital-NUD2-Lawyer Bolade road is ongoing and will soon be delivered for the use of the people.
Also delivered by Governor Adeleke in the seven month he has been in office is the 3km Iresi Township road. The road that was practically impassable for so decades is now motorable, and facilitates easy access between four towns– Iresi, Ajaba, Edemosi, and Imesi– all in Boluwaduro local government. In Ikire, the 1.16km Ibadan/Ife Expressway Junction-Islamiyyah-Okiti Junction that was abandoned for over 35 years wears a new look and added to the road network of the state.
Similarly, in Iwo, the 1.5km Ansarudeen Central Mosque Junction-Kuti Junction- Hospital road has been constructed and delivered, resolving a 41 years agonizing pains of motorists, and in turn, open up Molete and Isale-Oba quarters. In that same range, the construction of the 1.23km Enuwa-Oniyangi-Ita Osun-Oke Atan with Spur to Egbedu-Ilode Junction in Ile Ife was delivered.
The 0.8km Ita-Ofa-Oromu-Araromi (Market gate) and the 0.4km Atakunmosa Market road; Obiteni-Omo Ofe roads in Ilesa are done and dusted while the 1.3km Oke Oye- Oke Ita with Spur to Ogodogbo and Temidire road fixed and open for public usage. In Ede, important roads like the 1.9km Akankan-Obada Junction and the 0.9km Anu Olu Hospital-Powerline-Hammadiya Junction Ede with Spur have been constructed by the Adeleke administration.
Other roads that has received the intervention of the Adeleke administration is the 2.1km Anu Olu-Obada-Alusekere-YTD Primary School Ojoro in Ede and the Oloruntedo Community (Costain)– Osogbo East Bypass road that has been rehabilitated and put in good use. This is in addition to the 2.1km Ogberin Junction-Akala Street-Oloki Junction-Olobim (Iso Ege) in Ede that now wears new look, all thanks to Governor Adeleke.
Also in the infrastructural strides of Governor Adeleke are the construction of the 1.5m x 1.5m Box culvert at Professor Abass road; the construction of 3.0 x 2.0m Box culvert Owoope/Okeola at Ajegunle in Gbongan; the construction of 3.0 x 2.5m box culvert at Adeeke in Iwo; the construction of eroded surface on Oke Onitea box culvert and Anaye Market in Osogbo; the construction of failed culverts at sasha (Uniosun Road), Osogbo; the spot Patching & Repair of Zone XI-Baba Eleyin U-Turn, Owode; the spot patching and spot rehabilitation of Olaiya Interchange-Abere Junction; the repair of Oke Onitea failed section, Osogbo; and the improvement of Oke-Fia road and failed section to Dele Yes Sir.
And this is just the beginning. Because at the moment, there are dozens of road projects initiated in different parts of Osun state. Even more inspiring, is the fact that a fresh 1.5km road is constructed in all the 30 local government areas and the area office, and in addition to this is one major road projects in the nine federal constituencies that made up the state.
The Adeleke administration has also taken step to complete the Ona Baba Ona road, and already mobilized contractors to the site. The project, which began under Aregbesola government, but was abandoned by the previous administration, denying the state capital the immense economic potential that the road offers to the state.
Also in Ede is the 23km dual carriage road from Akoda-Ido Osun, which construction has began, and when completed, will contribute significantly to the economy of Ede and Egbedore local governments. The road will also facilitate easy access to the Osun airport, which is under construction.
Going by the attention that Governor Adeleke has given to infrastructural developments in the state, the clear impression with the people is that by the time he exhaust his first term in office, most of the important roads in the state would have been fixed, and turn Osun into a place of choice for investors.
• Sarafa Ibrahim is the Special Assistant to Governor Ademola Adeleke on Print Media and writes from Osogbo, Osun State.
By Sarafa Ibrahim