Special Adviser to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Raheem Aminu, an engineer, believes that infrastructural development going on in Ondo State is not a dividend of democracy, but the people’s right. He tells Babatope Okeowo in this interview that people will appreciate Akeredolu more when he leaves office: Excerpts
What is the politics behind the projects embarked upon by the Ondo State government as many people perceive the government to be working on infrastructural development?
It is not that the government is perceived to be working; the government is actually working and I don’t think there is any politics behind it. As often said by our governor, there is nothing like dividends of democracy because that it is what the people deserve as a right. The governor was voted into office to come and work and serve the people. Definitely, he must serve and part of the work he is doing is what you are seeing everywhere.
Give us an insight into some of the projects embarked upon by the state government
They are too numerous and they cut across all the 18 local government areas of the state. Let us talk about infrastructure across the 18 local government areas – they have all enjoyed infrastructural development though there may be more in some local governments than in some others. But, before the end of the first administration, we will balance everything. For instance, in the central senatorial district like Akure, there are some projects we started immediately the governor came into office. One of that is the construction of Abusoro road off Ijoka; it is a very notorious road that is very rocky. People living in that axis were not able to take their vehicles out; they pack their vehicles at a nearby fuel station along Ijoka axis. But when this government came on board, we started the project and within one year, it was completed.
Go to Iwalewa road to Alafiatayo, and to Oshinle and to Hospital road; that terrain is usually waterlogged; nearly all the stretch, about two kilometres have been stabilised so that it does not allow the passage of water after construction, thereby making it impossible for water to come up to destroy the road. Technology was deployed in constructing that road and it has been commissioned. Go to Alagbaka, this government is constructing the six-kilometre length of the road beside Signatures to SIB.
We have Court of Appeal road to SUBEB road and we have other roads there and the contractors have started laying the asphalt. Go to Okeogba, another six kilometres of the road; the contractor is laying the asphalt and in the next two weeks, he will complete the road to 100 per cent. Go to Gaga, five kilometers of the road, the contractor has started laying asphalt and about two kilometers of it, the actual laying is completed. Something that might interest you about these projects we are talking about is that they are projects that benefit the masses. They are not projects we do because a commissioner is living on the street. These projects were selected based on the level of decay and needs of the people living in that area.
Are these projects feasible?
There is no doubt about that.
What about the funds involved, how much has the government spent?
We have changed the modality of contracting. Initially, if you are having any contract, it must have been awarded and mobilized, but this one we operate – after the documents are ready, the government will hold on to the award letter and the contractor will move to the site and start work. Payment will be made based on what has been done. But the other approach was based on estimation, and in most cases, the fund will not be adequate while at other times, it is in excess.
So, this our method brings about prudence, it also prevents situations where contractors cart away government money. It also brings about a high level of quality delivery. So, before the award letter is released, the job is almost completed. With that, there is no extra fund and if there is any work a contractor has done that we don’t like, it will be demolished at the contractors’ expense. These are some of the innovation this government brought into practice.
On infrastructure, how much do you think this government has spent on road construction?
You know that the government had to pay property owners affected by the road construction. From the record, as at March, the government had spent N10 billion on projects completed at that moment. Once you complete what you are given to do, you get paid.
Still talking about roads in Akure…
There is the dualization project from A Division to NEPA roundabout, to Oluwatuyi, to Alafiatayo, to Investment and to Ijoka. It is going to be dualized. The first segment of the road from A Division to NEPA has been completed. The second one is ongoing from NEPA to Olukayode roundabout. The CBN road to Sunview has been completed and dualized. Go to SUBEB, there is a link road between it and Sijuwade; the contractor is working on it. And there are others like that. Go to Ire Akari, that one was contracted yesterday and the contractor has moved to site. Ire Akari to Oke Odu to Ipinsha, Orita Obele axis; a section of Atibiti road, Ondo road in front of WAPCO, there is a failed portion in that area and Maronu coming from Isolo and going to the new stadium, we also have a section at Maronu axis that has completely collapsed.
So, all those ones, the contractor will soon move to site and ditto for Oda road. The people of Oda have been crying to the government and that one will soon be awarded in due course. In Idanre, Owena Local Government Area, we have only one road to Idanre before, but this government has created an alternative route, which is about 16 kilometres from Idanre in front of Technical, which bursts out at Igisogba. The contractor has achieved about 45 per cent completion asphalt overlay of about 16 kilometres completed. Aside from this in Idanre, we have another project, which has been completed already, that is St. Joseph road, which is about three kilometres in Idanre Township.
Apart from that, there is another road besides the market which is about 1.5kilometre; the OSAMCO people are working on that axis. If you go to Ifedore Local Government Area, which is still in the central at Igbara Oke, Ibuji – Ondo and Ekiti states boundary road – about 8.5kilomtres the contractor has completed the asphalt overlay. Before this government came on board, the road was impassable. But go there now, it is another story.
Despite these projects, we still have people complaining about the performance of the Akerodolu government, what do you think is responsible for that?
Nothing is responsible! That is the nature of human beings. We are created by Almighty God, but people still complain about God. When we get rains, we complain it is too much and when in drought, we say the sun is too much and that it comes with so many sicknesses. Even the Almighty God cannot satisfy us; that is our nature. We are not afraid of criticisms. By our records, we believe that the governor has done his best and by the grace of God, he will keep trying. If there is no criticism, how will you tighten your belt?
And you must realize one thing; people don’t commend you until after you must have left the office. When you do something good, they will be criticizing you, but give them some years later. It is like when late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was governing the Western Region; people were criticizing what he was doing. During the Second Republic, had it being the people cherished him the way they cherished him when he left, they ought to have voted for him. So we don’t expect commendation from people. We just keep doing what is right.
You inherited some projects from the last government, what are you doing about them?
All the projects that were inherited, we are doing them except a few that the contractors were at loggerheads because we didn’t know what transpired between the contractors and the past administration. When we came on board, most of the outstanding bills were paid. For instance, the Ikaram and Ikare road project; the outstanding was paid and we expected the contractor to move back to the site, but as we speak, he has not moved back and the project is at the verge of termination now. The Ondo township road; the last administration awarded it to CRCC and was owing them some money, but when we came on board, we paid and the project is completed. CEC is working on the Airport road, the last administration also owed them money, but when we came on board, we paid, but the work is yet to be completed.
If we don’t see the contractors on site, we will take legal steps. There are projects like that we paid for and the contractors performed. The Oke Alabojuto was awarded by the last administration and it paid 40 per cent, but the contractor refused to move to site. When we came on board, Governor Akeredolu did not say ‘I am not the one that awarded this project,’ but simply asked if we are satisfied with it and he paid. Even something was wrong with the design, but we managed the whole situation. Oke Alabojuto has been completed in Ikare; dualization of over three kilometres road. The contractor is working on the Ikaram-Akunnu road project. Another one is Oke Agbe, Afin and Ogbagi.
Bayelsa decides: David Lyon in early lead
David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken an early lead based on results from four out of the six local government areas so far announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He is leading with just over 42,000 votes.
So far, the votes recorded by the APC candidate, Chief David Lyon is 148,244 as against 106,167 recorded by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Senator Douye Diri in Sagbama and Kolokuma/Opokuma local government areas of the State.
APC recorded a massive win in Ogbia Local Government with a total of 58,016 as against the vote of PDP of 13,763.
It was 83,041 votes recorded by the APC in Nembe Local Government Area as against the PDP votes of 874.
But the PDP had its share of big votes at the home council of the state Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson in Sagbama with 60,339 votes to APC’s 7,831.
At the Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Council, where the PDP flag bearer hails from, the PDP defeated the APC with 15,360 votes as against the 8,934 votes recorded by the APC.
In Brass Local Council Area where the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva hails from, APC defeated the PDP with 23,831 as against 10,410 votes.
But the PDP in a press briefing on Sunday addressed by its flag bearer, Senator Douye Diri, accused the Nigerian Army of conniving with the APC to rig the polls in parts of the state.
Kogi decides: Bello coasting to victory, as PDP, Wada rejects election results
The reelection of Governor Yahaya Bello is becoming clearer, as he has so far won 10 local government areas out of the the 18 so far declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
As at the time of filing this report, results from three local government areas are yet to be announced, but there are strong indications that the incumbent governor Bello has won the election with a wide.
Meanwhile the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Engr. Musa Wada announce his total rejection of the gubernatorial election in the state.
The PDP governorship candidate, Engr. Musa Wada, at a media conference in Lokoja, the state capital, described the election in the state as not only a scam but a replica of war orchestrated by the APC and security agencies deployed to the state.
Niger guber: Gov Sani Bello savors victory at Appeal Court
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has described his victory, on Saturday, at the Court of Appeal as a vindication and reaffirmation of the people’s mandate given to him and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs. Mary Noel Berje, Governor Sani Bello recalled his earlier victory at the Tribunal stressing that the dismissal of the case by the appellate court has proved his innocence and affirmed the sanctity of the judiciary.
The governor reiterated that, indeed, the victory at the Court of Appeal is a victory for democracy and the people adding that the country’s ‘nascent’ democracy and good governance will continue to thrive with the justice and fairness of the judiciary.
He applauded Nigerlites for supporting the policies and programmes of his administration and appreciated their prayers and pledged to continue to work for the growth and development of the state.
Governor Sani Bello stated that his administration is not unaware of the efforts by the people aimed at facilitating rapid development of the state assuring that his government will vigorously concentrate in the execution of people-oriented projects across the three geopolitical zones of the state.
While expressing gratitude to his legal team and the party officials for their collective and individual efforts in securing victory, Governor Sani Bello enjoined his political opponents to join hands with his government in order to move the state forward.
Kogi decides: Bello leads after collation of results in 15 LGAs
APC governorship candidate in the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State, Governor Yahaya Bello is leading his main challenger, Engr Musa Wada of the PDP with margin of 233,004 votes after collation of results of 15 out the 21 LGAs in the state.
The results of 15 local government areas so far collated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) indicates that Bello polled 334,474 votes as against 101,470 votes won by Wada of the PDP.
The breakdown of the results showed that Bello won in 10 of the local government areas while Wada won in five of the local government areas.
The local government areas won by Bello include Ajaokuta, Adavi, Okene, Ogori Magongo, Olamaboro, Okehi, Mopa Muro, Kabba Bunu, Kogi-Kotonkarfe and Ijumu. Wada won in Omala, Idah, Igalamela/Odolu, Yagba East and Yagba West local government areas.
Kogi decides: Cancel Okene result, PDP tells INEC
Onyekachi Eze, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the cancellation of the result of last Saturday’s governorship election in Okene, Kogi State, alleging that the 112, 000 votes scored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the area was fictitious.
PDP in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said there was evidence of alterations of figures to reduce its vote in the area and allocate imported figures to the APC.
“Our party hopes that this apparent moves to allocate fictitious results to the APC has no bearing with the allegations in the public space that Governor Yahaya Bello and the APC had compromised highly placed INEC officials with huge sums of money to alter results in favour of the APC,” the party further stated.
It maintained that nobody would accept what it described as “the provocative alteration of results from polling units as well as allocation of fictitious votes, particularly the awarding of 112, 000 votes to APC in Okene.”
Bayelsa decides: Collation begins with Sagabama results
Collation begins with Sagabama results announced.
APC, 7831, PDP, 60339.
Valid votes 68569, total votes 69591
APC to PDP: Don’t think of causing trouble in Kogi
Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja
The Yahaya Bello/Onoja Governorship Campaign Council has called on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to shelve any plans it might be harbouring of causing trouble and spreading falsehood, urging the opposition party to await the conclusion of the entire process that has been “free, fair and peaceful”.
The ruling party in a press statement signed by the Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee of the Campaign Council, Kingsley Fanwo said: “We have credible intelligence that the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has directed the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan to quickly address a press conference to condemn an ongoing process that has been adjudged free, fair, credible and peaceful just because they are seeing the handwriting of people’s rejection on the wall.
“The pockets of crisis during the election were caused by the stand of the people against the rigging machinations of the PDP. Mr Ologbondiyan was caught in the same satanic plan as he has been alleged to have carried ballot boxes and papers to his private residence, a situation that was staunchly resisted by the people of his Ward who insisted on the power of the ballot.
“How will such a person garner enough moral strength to address a press conference to condemn a largely credible process?
“He and other PDP leaders should accept the verdict of the people and clean their names in the face of heavy accusations against them.”
The Council further commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for their excellent performance in ensuring fair conduct.
“To the PDP, they should prepare for future elections with seriousness and stop claiming ‘danger to democracy’ when things don’t go their way. We also congratulate Kogites for coming out enmasse on Saturday to elect their next governor,” the statement added.
Kogi decides: Yahaya Bello leading with over 180,000 votes; after results from 9 LGAs
Yahaya Bello, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Kogi state governorship election, is leading with a very wide margin in the results announce so far.
The incumbent governor is ahead of the other 23 candidates with 184,430 votes margin in nine of the 21 local government areas where results have been officially announced.
Bello got a total of 245,269 votes, followed by Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who comes a distant second with 60,839 votes.
The APC candidate’s highest win so far is in Okene LGA, where he is from, with a total of 112,764 votes as against Wada’s 139 votes.
He also trumped the PDP candidate in the Kabba/Bunu, the LGA of Kola Ologbondiyan, the party’s spokesman. He got 15,364 votes there, almost double that of Wada who polled 8,084 votes.
There are 12 LGAs left out of the 21 in the state.
The various LG collation officers are reporting that thousands of votes were cancelled as a result of violence.
Mopamuro LGA Governorship Election
Registered Voters – 23,030
Accredited Voters – 9,093
APC – 4,953
PDP – 3,581
SDP – 95
Total Valid Votes – 8,689
Rejected votes – 314
Total Votes Cast – 9,003
*915 voters cancelled as a result of ballot box snatching and disruption of the election process in some areas
Ajaokuta LGA Governoship Election
Registered Voters – 73,836
Accredited Voters – 24,942
APC – 17,952
PDP – 5,565
SDP – 323
Valid votes – 23.951
Rejected votes – 512
Total Votes Cast – 24, 463
Idah LGA Governorship Election
Registered Voters – 56,743
Accredited Voters – 19,967
APC – 4,632
PDP – 13,962
SDP – 221
Total Valid Votes – 19,037
Rejected votes – 772
Total Votes Cast – 19,809
Votes from three polling units cancelled due to over voting and card readers not functioning very well
*APC agent rejected the election results in Idah LGA saying election didn’t hold in the area.
The State Returning Officer said the APC should channel his request to appropriate quarters.
Olamaboro LGA Governorship Election
Registered Voters – 82,973
Accredited Voters – 27,202
APC – 16,876
PDP – 8,155
SDP – 262
Total Valid Votes – 25,701
Rejected votes – 819
Total Votes Cast – 26,520
Ondo has no reason to be under-developed, says Olafeso
National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), in the South-West and governorship aspirant in Ondo State, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, has perused the state’s debt profile, stating that the state has no reason to be dependent on loans in view of the resources at its disposal.
Speaking at a dinner organised in his honour in Lagos at the weekend, Olafeso said it was inexplicable that Ondo State is in deplorable condition with about N131 billion foreign and domestic debts, besides a N50billion bond in the works, despite agricultural and other resources begging for attention in the state.
“The case of Ondo State is comparable to what Bob Marley in his song titled: ‘Rat Race,’ where he lamented that ‘in the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty,’ hence, we are setting out to implement the state’s template for development, put in place more than a decade ago,” he said.
Olafeso observed that though successive governments have tried their best to develop the state, the deplorable condition of roads and other infrastructures and government failure to intervene in the absence of public power supply in Ondo South senatorial district in the last 15 years was almost inconsiderate.
In his remarks on the occasion, a former chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Barr. Benson Enikuomehin, described Olafeso as a visionary leader whose time has come to turnaround the fortunes of the state.
He said that from what he knew about Olafeso as a corporate czar, an intellectual, a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy and a party leader in the state and at national levels for over 17 years, indicate that he is sufficiently qualify to govern the state.
Enikuomehim was later joined by a colleague of theirs at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Yemi Sotiminu and former Editor of Guardian Newspaper, Mr. Martins Oloja, a childhood friend of Olafeso who extolled the aspirant’s leadership qualities.
Bayelsa decides: INEC says collation of results to commence by 2pm
Collation of results to commence by 2pm according to INEC.
However, according New Telegraph correspondent, the fact that corps members, who form a bulk of the ad hoc staff of INEC in this election continue to submit incident report forms on the violence that erupted in their territories, collation will most likely start much later.
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