A coalition of like-minded civil society organisations, The Osun Masterminds, on Wednesday asked Governor Ademola Adeleke to desist from his administration’s plan of constructing flyovers in Osogbo, capital of the state, saying such move would be tantamount to waste of resources and space.
Rather, the group advised the state government to dualise the affected roads in order to ease traffic congestions.
Addressing the September edition of the monthly State-of- the-State address in Osogbo, the Executive Director of TOM, Wasiu Oyedokun-Alli said the group’s concern was premised on the state of Osun’s finances, as well as the level of urgency of such infrastructure at the proposed locations.
The state government is planning to construct flyovers at Oke-Fia and Old Garage areas of Osogbo to tackle traffic challenges.
Oyedokun-Alli said, “We recently got informed of plans by the state government to construct flyovers at Oke-Fia and Old Garage areas of Osogbo. We understand that plans are already underway to get these projects executed, but we want to offer a little counsel that may save the state some resources.
“As one of our subsidiaries, Transparency and Accountability Group (TAG), counselled against the construction of the Olaiya Flyover before it was implemented, we are counselling against the construction of flyovers at Oke-Fia and Old Garage areas. Our counsel is premised on the state of Osun’s finances, vis-a-vis the level of urgency of such infrastructure at the proposed locations.
“A simple dualization of LAMECO – Oke-Fia – Old Garage stretch of road and signalization of that stretch, will solve whatever traffic bottlenecks there may currently exist there. More specifically, traffic lights at LAMECO, Oke-Fia and Old Garage, on a dualized road, will ease every traffic congestion currently being experienced on the road.
“We advise that government redirects the funds it will expend on constructing flyovers, to widening major roads in towns whose major roads are currently too narrow for the kind of traffic that goes through them. Major towns like Ikirun, Iwo, Ilesa, Ejigbo and Ila-Orangun are in dire need of wider major roads, to reduce the risk to lives occasioned by the dense traffic that passes through those towns.
“The Akoda – Oke Gada – Ido-Osun dualization that is currently going on in Ede is a template that should be replicated in the major towns mentioned above, as an alternative to erecting needless flyovers at Oke-Fia and Old Garage areas of Osogbo. Flyovers at those locations will at best end up as wastes of space and resources, and the Governor can better establish his legacy by dualizing major roads in the aforementioned major towns.”
Lamenting the deplorable conditions of some roads in the state, the coalition called on the government to maintain roads in order to prevent them from posing security challenges.
“We are compelled to call the attention of the Osun State Government to the state of some critical infrastructure in the State. One important example is the Ibadan-Gbongan-Akure highway.
While we understand that the Highway is a Trunk A road and should primarily be maintained by the Federal Government, we advise the state government to liaise with relevant agencies of the Federal Government to maintain the section of the road that is within the domain of our state.
“Such critical infrastructure have the tendency to pose security challenges if not maintained and the current managers of our dear state should not wait until the road begins to constitute such threats before taking concrete action,” Oyedokun-Alli added.
On palliative, Oyedokun-Alli charged the state government to come out clean on its plan for the N2 billion palliative fund received from the Federal Government.
He said, “While the Federal Government has made certain palliative provisions, the Osun State Government has remained ominously silent on what it will be giving to the state’s people as palliatives even when it has confirmed the receipt of two billions Naira from the Federal Government coffers.
“We request that the state government immediately makes known its intentions as concerning palliatives, as Osun people are longing for support that most citizens of other states have enjoyed.
“We must also use this opportunity to condemn the secrecy that shrouded the distribution of the palliatives that were received from the Federal Government. For transparency’s sake, we encourage the Osun State Government to be more open with such distribution processes in future. Openness secures public confidence and the government cannot do without it.”