The Ogun State Government, on Friday,said the Obong of Calabar, His Royal Majesty, Edidem Abasi, directed his attack on the deplorable state of the Abeokuta-Ibadan road at the wrong quarters.
The Obong, who is the Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), had on Thursday lamented the poor state of some roads in the state.
But the state government, in a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Works, Engr. Ade Akinsanya, said the road in question belongs to the Federal Government.
He said that the Dapo Abiodun administration in Ogun State had been giving quality and adequate attention to all roads in the state, whether federal, state or local. This, he said, had led to the rehabilitation of over 400 roads.
Besides, according Akinsanya, the contract for the rehabilitation of the road has been awarded to Kopek, which has already started work from the Ibadan end.
He added that the state government started working on the road from Adatan in Abeokuta but the Federal Government directed the State Government to stop construction at Moore Junction because it asked KOPEK to take over the road.
Akinsanya noted that the state government was yet to receive major refund from the federal government on the money expended on federal roads.
He listed some of the roads to include; Ijebu-Ode-Mojoda-Epe, Lafenwa-Rounda (to be extended to Alamala), and Atan-Lusada-Agbara road, adding that part of the Sango Ota-Abeokuta road had been done, especially the Sango Ota area.
The statement reads: “On Thursday, the Obong of Calabar and Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), His Royal Majesty, Edidem Abasi, was reported to have lamented the deplorable condition of roads in Ogun State. Narrating his unpleasant experience on the way to the university to attend some of the activities marking its 30th convocation ceremony, the Obong called on traditional rulers in the state to use their offices to appeal to Governor Dapo Abiodun to pay attention to the roads.
“The Obong reportedly stated this at his lodge within the university campus when he played host to three traditional rulers in the state, namely the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle; the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Saka Matemilola, and the Ajalaye of Ilogun South, Ijebu Northeast, Oba Emmanuel Olusanu.
“Without necessarily joining issues with His Majesty, there is a need to make a clarification. The road about which the revered traditional ruler spoke, namely the Abeokuta-Ibadan road, is a federal road. We are aware that it is residents of Ogun State that inhabit the area but there is still a need to set the records straight. “Interestingly, the road in question has now been awarded by the Federal Government to Kopek Nigeria Ltd.
“To be sure, the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led government in Ogun State has, in line with his ISEYA agenda, been giving quality attention to all roads in the state regardless of their ownership status.
“For instance, the Atan-Lusada-Agbara road being rehabilitated by the Ogun State government is a federal road, just like the roads in Sango-Ota which are receiving adequate attention. Others include Epe-Ijebu Ode road, Siun -Kobape-Abeokuta road .
“It is important to recognize that because of the way Ogun as a Gateway State that borders Lagos, Oyo, Ondo and the Republic of Benin is configured, it has many federal roads which the State Government are also working on.The Ogun State government has had to repair many of them and awaiting refund from the Federal Government.
“The Obong, a Federal Government appointee, directed his plea to the wrong quarters. It is the Federal Government that has authority over the road.
“On Ogun State’s part, the state government has been able to do over 400 kilometres of roads across the state. Indeed, there would still be work left to do if the Ogun State government devoted all its resources to reconstructing federal roads in the state. They are that extensive.
“Our revered traditional rulers are urged to seek clarifications and make investigations into issues so that they do not direct their grievances at the wrong authority and make statements that may put government in bad light.
“The Obong of Calabar should plead for the immediate release of funds to Kopek rather than making sweeping allegations against the Ogun State government.”