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Ota bridge: Bankole, Daniel, Daggash in hot exchange of words

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Sango-Ota Bridge, along Abeokuta Commissioned. Photo by Joe Akintola,Photo Editor.

By Kingsley Adegboye & James Ezema
ABEOKUTA—DECORUM was abandoned by public figures, yesterday, as the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, Ogun State Governor, Olugbenga Daniel and the Minister of Works, Senator Sanusi Daggash, engaged themselves in war of words at the site of the opening of the Ota Bridge along  the Lagos-Abeokuta Express Way.

The tension heightened at the scene, when Bankole, who got to Sango-Ota shortly before the bridge was commissioned by the Minister, noticed that the project inauguration exercise had been performed.

Immediately Daniel realised that Bankole was approaching the bridge, he stopped his address and stood up with the Minister to declare open the flyover.

Apparently disturbed by the turn of the event, Bankole moved to the white Coaster bus which conveyed both Daniel and Daggash, stopped the vehicle and went straight inside it.

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Daniel, in his speech, had told audience waiting for the commissioning that they should ensure that they allow Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, be aware that the flyover to be commissioned was not the project he was supposed to witness, adding that Bankole was there to make unnecessary movement for political reason.

Bankole went directly into the Coaster bus of the governor to prevent the driver from plying the bridge. Though what transpired among the Speaker, Governor and the Minister while inside the vehicle was not known to journalists but people began to take cover when aides of Bankole and Daniel almost engaged in a shooting spree.

A source close to the Ogun State government  said that Bankole told the Minister: “So you have invited me here to embarrass me enh? So you have the guts to cut the tape before me? This will be your last assignment. Anyway, follow me.”

He reportedly turned to the governor and said: “Who the hell do you think you are? You have commissioned the bridge before my arrival, how can you do a thing like that?”

Dagash who cut the tape to commission the bridge was accompanied by Daniel and the Olota of Ota, Oba Moshood Oyede. The monarch who in company of his chiefs left the scene when the imbroglio started.

Daniel told the crowd that the project was the good work of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, adding: “The project was conceptualized and commenced by Obasanjo and we are happy that it was in his presence that the project is commissioned”.

Reacting to the drama, the Speaker said:”No, no, no. I wasn’t locked out of anywhere. A bridge was commissioned and that is what I want to say. There was no fracas among supporters. That one is what I want to assure you. No, there was no power play between me and anybody. I only had a discussion with the governor and the minister in the Coaster bus. I wasn’t late to the commissioning.

My interest is to make sure that there is Federal Government presence in Ogun State and that is what we managed to do by the government completing the Ota Bridge which was commissioned today. Apart from that, I am not really interested in any other thing that went on there. I am just glad that the commissioning was done and I am looking forward to more projects being commissioned in the state.”

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