A former lawmaker at the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Iyiola Omisore on Wednesday urged the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to tell the people of the state the whole truth on how N1.6 billion Olaiya-Jaleyemi-Asubiaro-Ita Olokan road project was partly funded by United Nations Education, Science, and Cultural Organisation( UNESCO).
Omisore added that the claim by the Osun State government that the project was funded by the State’s Conversation Fund was not only deceitful but a sheer propaganda.
This was contained in a press statement signed by a media aide to the former deputy governor, Mr Jide Fakorede, the copy which was made available to journalists in Osogbo.
“It is an open secret and matter in the domain of the public that Osun State government had assessed counterpart funds from UNESCO, which is in excess of over 70 per cent following the designation of Osun Osogbo groove by the world body as one of the World Heritage sites for local and international tourists.
“This is not new, the practical efforts, which climaxed in the attraction of such funds to Osun began during the regime of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But, it is a statement of fact that Aregbesola received counterpart funds from UNESCO”.
“While we would not assist Aregbesola and his dishonest government to disclose the actual amount received on the road project from the reputable international organization, for the purpose of creating unhindered assess for all categories of tourists which he himself admitted publicly few years back, we leave him to ruminate over this sacred facts as a public figure in his innermost mind. Conscience is an open wound”.
“PDP government out of its sincere commitment to boost tourism potentials and enhance effective economic growth of the state made Osun Osogbo Groove a world heritage site so as to attract UNESCO funding assistance. Aregbesola should complete the seven and half roads under construction: Akoda-Sekona-Gbongan, Osogbo Ring Road (10.5 per cent completion), Osogbo-Ikirun-Ijabe-Ila Odo-Kwara State Boundary (50 per cent completion), controversial Osun Airport, which gulped over N180 billion to date and still gulping”.
“Let him urgently construct or worst rehabilitate Osogbo-Iwo road, Sekona-Edunabon township road. Ede, Ilesa, Ife, Iwo, Ikire, Ejigbo, Ila, Ifon among other roads. Ede Headworks need urgent attention because it supplies water to 18 local governments, not to mention water dams in Ife, Ilesa, Oyan, Ejigbo, Iwo, Ifedayo, Ifewara, Erin Ijesa, Ifewara that needs attention. Almost eight years of waste, hospitals, clinics, Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) not functioning. WAEC, NECO results of Osun students worst since state creation and workers are still being owed more than 24 months of salary arrears. Pensioners owed millions of naira being paid N100,000 each,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Mr Lani Baderinwa in his reaction on Thursday said Omisore ‘s statement on the road project was preconceived to misinform the people of the state, saying his comments on the issue were all tissues of lies.
Baderinwa explained that the source of funds for the project came from Omoluabi Infrastructure Conservation Fund, adding that contrary to impressions in some quarters that the road leads straight to Osun groove, “it is the road that actually leads to Osun groove road”.
” Governor Rauf Aregbesola had in March 2014 during the flag off of the road construction categorically declared that the fund for the commencement of construction of the road will be sourced from the Omoluabi Infrastructure Conservation Fund, with the help of the state House of Assembly.
“This is the reason behind the commendation of members of the House of Assembly by Governor Aregbesola during the commissioning of the Workers Drive on Tuesday. He appreciated their legislative role in the finance of the project.
UNESCO is not in any way involved in the finance of the project at all. It becomes imperative to state that rather than providing fund for the road, UNESCO had requested the government to re-work and change the course of the road that leads to Osun groove so as to retain its being a World Heritage Site. UNESCO made some other demands in this regard.
“As much as the government would not mind fulfilling the UNESCO requests, State Government of Osun does not have the financial wherewithal to so do now for obvious economic reasons.
Besides, it is a known fact that UNESCO as an organization do not give money for any counterpart project funding; rather, such is given in kind and not in cash as the debased personality of the impeached Deputy governor would want the people to believe.
“It is disturbing that a man who has been a perpetual aspirant to the exalted seat of Governor could lack knowledge of running of an organization such as UNESCO and what the true situation is with the state he so desperately desired to rule. It is also pitiable and ridiculous that somebody aspiring to rule the people of Osun cannot differentiate between the road leading to Osun Groove and the one that links the road that leads to the Groove. Omisore is likely to turn the progress march of Osun back if (and God will forbid that) he should mistakenly become Governor with his clear lack of basic knowledge of governance.
“He should be told in clear terms that getting so mischievous is not a good trait that endears an aspirant to the heart of the electorates while lying so blatantly makes one a reject by God and thus, the desperate impeached deputy governor should desist from deliberate efforts at misinform the people of the state and face his disgraceful and ignoble charges with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
“Government of the State of Osun challenges Omisore or any of cohorts to substantiate their claims with relevant documents to the effect that the now elegant Workers Drive was funded by UNESCO as they unscrupulously claim.
”Omisore and his ilk that are spreading the lies are political jobbers who are jolted with the success recorded on the completion of the Workers Drive and Governor Aregbesola’s achievements at large. The set of mischief makers are making failed attempt to discredit the Governor Aregbesola’s administration and divert attention from the deserved glory and credit derivable from the successful construction of the road despite financial hard time”, Baderinwa opined.
From: Dailypost news