Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Friday, said that preliminary works have begun on the planned Iseyin-Ogbomoso road.
The governor, who stated this in Iseyin, while attending the 8th Day Fidau prayer of the mother of the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Omokunmi Mustapha, added that his administration will ensure the road is completed before the end of his tenure.
He said that survey works on the new road have already begun, adding that the new road designed to connect Iseyin to Ogbomoso will boost the economic expansion drive of his administration.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, also quoted the governor as saying that the state has also reached an agreement with the Federal Government to construct the Oyo-Iseyin road.
He stated that his government will go ahead with the construction despite the Federal Government’s position that it would not repay the state if it constructs the federal road.
Governor Makinde, to the excitement of the crowd of well-wishers and residents of Iseyin, also declared that his administration will, in the next six weeks, announce the situation of a tertiary institution in the town in line with his promise during the electioneering period.
The statement further indicated that the governor eulogised the late mother of the PDP chairman, Alhaja Nimotallah Alake Olayiwola, stating that she lived an enviable life.
The governor said that only an individual that is blessed by God could live up to 118, as he prayed to God for a long life for her children and those in attendance.
He said: “We want to thank God for Mama’s life and we are here today to celebrate her life. But as a government, we would like to say one or two things. On my way here, I had to time myself when we left Ibadan. From the roundabout in Iseyin here to where the construction of Moniya-Iseyin road stopped is just a 20-minute drive.
“What that means is that by the time they are done, we won’t be spending more than seven minutes to reach that road. And if we add those seven minutes to the minutes one will spend from Ibadan, it means Ibadan to Iseyin won’t exceed 45 minutes.”
Speaking on the readiness of the state government to construct the Iseyin-Oyo road, Governor Makinde said that the state has reached an agreement with the Federal Government to construct the road, saying: “We have formally agreed with the Federal Government to construct the road from Iseyin to Oyo but they wrote in the document that the road belongs to the Federal Government.
“They said if we construct it, they won’t return the money but I told them that they should put whatever money we spend on the road in record, as a government that will refund the money to Oyo State might come into place one day.
“I am also pleased to tell you that survey works have begun on the road that will lead to Ogbomoso from Iseyin. Some are saying we should begin the road construction from Iseyin to Ogbomoso but, by the grace of God, we will not only start it, but we will also complete it in this administration.”
The governor also used the occasion to charge residents of the state on the need to take the issue of security more seriously, stating that security is everybody’s business.
He added that the introduction of the Peace and Security Committee in all local government areas, which will include religious leaders, traditional institution leaders and all stakeholders will help to stem the tide of insecurity in the state.
“Apart from the prayers that you have been praying for us, I also want to urge you to take the issue of security very seriously. Our security is in our hands. We all know what happened recently in Ibarapa and the Oke-Ogun axis.
“There is nothing that is happening in our environment that you are not aware of. If any stranger or visitor enters any environment now, you will see them. So, what we are saying, in essence, is, if you see something, say something to the government. Let us come together and fix the issue of insecurity in our land,” the governor added.
In his response, renowned lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Barr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), while giving a vote of thanks, described Governor Makinde as a man of his words, praying to God to uplift him.
“Your Excellency, we want to thank you for three things. First, we want to appreciate you for coming here with your entourage. Secondly, we thank you for the road projects you have embarked on and the promise you have made to continue to construct more roads.
“The third is the commitment on the establishment of a tertiary institution in Iseyin. You told me one on one that you will bring a higher institution to Iseyin and, today, you have declared it, may God reward you abundantly.
“No matter how long you stay in office, you will leave one day but the prayer we have is that God should lift you higher. We really thank you. Oyo State will not witness retrogression under your tenure. You are a promise-keeper. And whoever makes promises and keeps it is who we want at the top.”
Similarly, the Chief Imam of Iseyinland, Alhaji Abdulhakim Olayori, commended the governor for doing well in terms of infrastructure and other aspects of life, saying the governor’s good works are showing and that the people want him to continue the good works for eight years.
“You are doing well; we are seeing your works. You have given us good roads in Iseyin but we want you to also give us a higher institution of learning.
“When someone is doing something good, we tell him to continue. Your works are showing; we want you to continue for eight years,” the Imam said.
The event had in attendance top functionaries of the Oyo State Government, including the Deputy Governor of the state, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan; Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin, and members of the House of Assembly; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Bisi Ilaka, among others.
Top politicians and chieftains of the PDP in attendance include Senator Gbenga Babalola, former Chief of Staff to the Oyo State governor, Dr. Saka Balogun, Chief Sunday Ogunlade, members of the Oyo PDP State Working Committee, former Oyo North Senatorial chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Yakubu Oladoja, Oyo North Senatorial chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Waheed Oluwakemi, PDP chairmen at the local government levels, among others.