…His allegations unfounded, baseless – Govt
BY SEGUN OLAGUNJU & DAUD OLATUNJI
ABEOKUTA—Almost three years after he left office as governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, weekend, took on his successor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
But Governor Amosun, in a reply said Daniel deserved the sympathy of the citizens of the state, saying: “The allegation of throwing the state into debt is not only an old one but unfounded.”
Daniel, who governed between 2003 and 2011 under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, accused Amosun’s government of attempting to plunge the future generations in the state into serious debt.
Speaking at the commissioning of the state Labour Party, LP, Secretariat at Onikolobo, Abeokuta, Daniel, flanked by Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, and LP National Chairman, Dan Nwuanyanwu, among others, officially dumped the PDP for the LP in the state.
According to him; “During my eight-year tenure, we constructed a lot of roads. I constructed six lanes on Lalubu road, we constructed drainage, walkways right and left and we commissioned them in 2008. As I am speaking to you, there is no pothole on that road and it cost N100 million per kilometer. But, this road from Ibara roundabout to Onikokobo being built by this government, gulped N800 million per kilometer. Even, some members of the state House of Assembly said government has increased the cost to N1.3 billion per kilometre.
“Also, the pedestrian bridge at the new secretariat for workers, which I called Goodluck Jonathan bridge, is three times longer than the bridge this government constructed on Lalubu road and it cost N50 million, but I learnt that this government did a pedestrian bridge with air conditioner and it costs N260 million.
“The first road my administration constructed when I assumed office in 2003 was the dualisation of Sagamu-Abeokuta road, which is 40 kilometres. Those people whose houses were affected got other more befitting houses with street lights and we spent a total of N1.9 billion. We constructed bridges. I heard that this government wants to expand the road and has awarded it to a contractor for N60 billion.”
Similarly, Governor Mimiko described Amosun’s urban renewal programme as elitist.
According to the governor, who said his Labour Party would take over the government from Amosun in 2015, noted “It is good to renew our cities but, at the same time you must renew the pockets of the masses. You cannot destroy the means of livelihood of the people because you want to renew your city, which is elitist, but, we at the Labour Party, will not displace anybody without providing better alternatives.”
Reacting, Governor Amosun, through his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, said the allegations that the Amosun administration had accumulated debt that the next generations could not repay were unfounded and baseless.
“Former governor Daniel deserves our sympathy. He needed to justify why he did not reconstruct and expand the roads in the state, including the Onikolobo road, on which the secretariat of his faction of Labour Party is now located.
“The allegation of indebting the state is not only an old one but is unfounded. The Assembly investigated it and found out it is baseless. In any case, the Executive cannot take any loan without recourse to the House.”