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Kogi governorship poll: Makinde expresses disappointment over conduct

PDP, Makinde, education, teachers
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde

…says expectations still far from reality

…as gov flags-off N9.9b Moniya-Iseyin road reconstruction

By Adeola Badru

GOVERNOR Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Monday expressed disappointment over the conduct of the just concluded Kogi governorship election held at the weekend in Kogi State, just as the governor flagged-off the commencement of work on the Moniya-Iseyin road project, barely two months after revoking it from the initial contractor.

This is as the governor also said that the expectation of the country in terms of holding an election was still far from reality, adding that the current democracy as being practised in the country was not the kind that the people wanted.
While addressing the large turnout at the flag-off held at Moniya, Ibadan, Governor Makinde said all the electoral stakeholders including politicians and electoral umpire must put hands on deck, noting that the election as conducted in Kogi State was not the type that could help the country’s democratic journey.
“My reaction is that I think that our aspiration as a country is still very far apart from our effective reality. That is the summary of my reaction.”

Also read: PDP cries foul as APC tops in Kogi, clears Bayelsa gov polls

“All of us need to work really hard to ensure that our effective reality is as close as possible to our aspiration.”
“This is not the kind of election that we want to have in our democracy, so all of us as stakeholders including INEC, politicians and the people, we all have to come together and ensure that we get the kind of democracy that will respect the wishes and will of the people.”
“My hotel was truly attacked but it was repelled and I am here now. There is no scratch on my body and I thank God for that.”
While speaking on the Moniya-Iseyin road being flagged-off, Governor Makinde said the 65kilometer road was re-awarded by his administration for N9.9 billion due to what the government described as “inefficiency, incapability and incompetence of the initial contractor” to do a satisfactory job.
The governor added that the project would be the standard of the types of the road his administration would embark upon during his tenure.
He pointed out that, part of the terms of the contract including increasing the asphaltic standard of the thickness of the road to be 59mm in the stead of 40mm, to make the road accessible for all kinds of articulated vehicles.
While noting that he approved that 60 per cent of the project cost to be paid as mobilisation to the contractor, Makinde said the focus of his administration in infrastructural improvement was to ensure that such promote economic wellbeing of the people and the state.
He urged the contractor handling the project to ensure that they engage youths from the community in executing the project while also calling on the youths to cooperate with the contractor so that the project can be delivered in 12 months.
Makinde said: “We are doing a total reconstruction of the road. We are scrapping everything on that road because that road economically is one that will help improve our economy, so it is a road that is targeting our economy, it is linking the capital city to Oke-Ogun and just less than one kilometres radius of the dry port. So, we want our infrastructure around that area to be really economically viable.”
“We are paying 60 per cent of the project cost upfront as mobilisation so that there won’t be any escalation of the project and so that the contractors can have everything that is required to move forward.”
“I also charged the youths to cooperate with the contractors and the contractors to employ our youths for this one year span of the project. We want to see the positive engagement of our youths in that axis.”
“And in terms of the designs for the road, we want to use it as a flagship of roads for Oyo state and a standard template. We asked that the asphalt thickness should be 50mm in the stead of 40mm so that it can take articulated vehicles and others in that axis.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation, Professor Raphael Afonja said the total reconstruction of the road will bring the much-desired “Upliftment to Oke-Ogun zone as the food basket of the state in particular and Nigeria in general.
“The project which was earlier awarded to Messrs Oladiran Tade and Engineering by the last administration was terminated due inefficiency, incapability and incompetence of the contractor to execute the project as scheduled and in compliance with professional standards and specifications.
“The project in its earlier conception by the last administration was for limited rehabilitation, it has now been upgraded to total reconstruction, the asphaltic surfacing has been increased from 40mm to 50mm and the stone base from 150mm to 200mm to provide a more durable red that will stand the test of time.
“We have also made provision for the inadequate drainage system that was observed in the initial design of the road.”
The flag-off was attended top government functionaries, traditional rulers, community leaders, trade groups and residents of the communities around the project site.

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