Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Tuesday commissioned ‘Workers Drive’, a 2.8km, just as he named a triangular junction at the starting point of the road after the Apostolic Church.
The Apostolic Church had been demolished to pave way for the construction of the triangular junction and reconstruction of the road.
Aregbesola who disclosed that the fund for the road was sourced from the Omoluabi Infrastructure Conservative Fund, explained that he named the former Olaiya-Odi-Olowo-Ita-Olookan road after the workers to appreciate their steadfastness, sacrifice and loyalty during the financial crisis in the state.
The governor stated that Osun workers bore the brunt of the financial crisis which was as a result of the misappropriation of the national resources by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He described the workers as treasure and agent of change, saying that their support to his administration could not be overemphasized, just as he described them as the cutting edge instrumental to the realisation of the government’s goals and aspirations for the people of the state.
The governor said, “We have decided to name the road after our workers in the state because of their loyalty, commitment and perseverance in the quest to achieve this. I salute the workers for all their commitment, our workers have been the cutting edge instrumental to the realisation of our goals to our people.”
Aregbesola disclosed that 579 structures consisting of houses, shops, uncompleted building, mosques, churches and others were standing on the road before the reconstruction, adding that 170 people were compensated with N392m for the separation of their structures from road.
The governor maintained that there should not be any need for separation of structures from the road had the properties owners followed the rules and regulations of town planning.
Sympathizing with the property owners that were separated from the road in the cause of the project, the governor said it was the intention of his administration to make Osogbo a true state capital that will attract investors.
Aregbesola who recalled the deplorable state of the road before the intervention, explained that the road was a death trap for many years with its narrow nature and pot holes at strategic points which led to accidents.
Speaking on behalf of other royal fathers at the event, the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, described Aregbesola’s administration as impactful and very beneficial to the people of the state.
Oba Olanipekun who commended Aregbesola for the spate of infrastructure development in the state, particularly in Osogbo, said he was happy for the commissioning of the road because three previous administrations had attempted the project and couldn’t complete it.
Commenting, the labour unions in the state, led by the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Jacob Adekomi, commended Aregbesola for his sensitivity to the plight of the workers, acknowledging that his administration has been workers friendly. Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Messrs Lekan Salami and Olajire Aweda respectively lauded Aregbesola for the massive road project and empowerment of the commercial transporters.
In his address, Speaker of the State of Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Najeem Salaam, attributed the success of the present administration to the cooperation that exists between the lawmakers, adding that they are proud of Aregbesola’s achievements.
He said the governor has turned the Olaiya to Ita-Olokan road to a road truly befitting of a state capital, stressing that the Osogbo of today is now different to the Osogbo of the past as a result of Aregbesola’s intervention.
The speaker who titled his speech, “Infrastructural Development, A Plan For Economic Growth” said he is confident that other projects across the state at various stages of completion will be completed before the tenure ends.
The Speaker then commended the Osun workers for their cooperation and perseverance towards the present administration, noting that their sacrifice has paid off. According to him, “this is unprecedented in the history of Osun, our state now has a befitting state capital which we can all be proud of and invite friends from outside to see.
“The Osogbo of today is now completely different from the Osogbo of the past, Osogbo is our collective heritage because this is the seat of power and we are glad that it is growing significantly. This road is wearing a new look to the admiration of all of us because we knew how it was before Aregbesola. I want to also commend our workers for the sacrifice they have shown, today we are all seeing the result of that sacrifice and we are proud of it as it obvious for all to see.”
Lord Mayor of Porto-Novo, Emmanuel Zossow, who is in the state on an advocacy visit said he is amazed at the level of development Aregbesola has brought to Osun. The foreign envoy who said he still recognises Osun as his ancestral home emphasized that he proud of the development being done at the state of his origin through Aregbesola.
In a goodwill message, the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Jacob Adekomi, stated that workers in Osun are extremely happy and delighted on the commissioning of the road at a time when all governments are complaining of lack of funds.
He said workers are happy and full of gratitude that the governor fulfilled his promise to dedicate the road to the workers in Osun, saying, “We are happy for this because it is happening at a time when nobody expected it, it is coming at a time when he could have given an excuse that lack of funds has stalled the project. But despite the inadequate finances, it is worthy of note that the governor still went ahead to complete this project and name after workers, for this we are very happy.”
In welcome address, the Commissoiner for Works and Transport, Engr. Kazeem Salami, explained that the importance of road transport in the development of any nation can not be over emphasised.
The commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Engr. Nurudeen Adeagbo stressed that before the advent of the Aregbesola administration, intercity and intercity roads were at a deplorable condition hence for the emergency declared on road rehabilitation by the Governor.
“Good roads are significant to the economic development of any society which is why the government of Rauf Aregbesola has taken it as a point of duty to to continue to rehabilitate roads. This road is a testament to the fact that Aregbesola is committed to the infrastructural and economic development of Osun,” he stated.