New Telegraph

100 days: Akeredolu hurrying to leave second term mark

On June 4, 2021, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State clocked 100 days in office in his second term tenure. In this report, ADEWALE MOMOH takes a look at the strides recorded, particularly within the areas of security and infrastructure as well as the governor’s continued stance against open grazing in the state and across the states in the Southern part of Nigeria

With the insecurity situation in Ondo State already reduced drastically, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is leaving no stone unturned towards ensuring that the activities of bandits, kidnappers and armed herders are fully curbed in the state. To this end, as the governor commemorated his 100 days in office, the State Security Network Agency, otherwise known as Amotekun Corps, a total of 500 new additional operatives were injected into the security outfit as well as equipped with 20 additional patrol vans.

The move would in no small measure assist and complement the efforts of the security outfit in in providing effective and efficient security across the 18 council areas of the state. The upgrading of the corps was coming on the heels of the stance of Akeredolu, who is the Chairman of the South West Governor’s Forum, on open grazing. Akeredolu had a few weeks ago coordinated a meeting involving 17 governors within the Southern states to ban open grazing in the region following the success of the strategy already recorded in the South West, particularly in Ondo State.

At the meeting, which held in Asaba, the Delta State capital, the governors, under the Southern Governors’ Forum, explained that the forum observed that the activities of armed herders, criminals and bandits in the southern part of the country have presented a severe security challenge such that citizens are not able to live their normal lives including pursuing various productive activities leading to a threat to food supply and general security. According to Akeredolu, who read the communiqué after the meeting, that the continued grazing of cattle by herders had put pressure on available land and increased the prospect of conflict between migrant herders and the local population in the south, hence the need to put a total stop to cattle movement to south by foot.

INFRASTRUCTURE

In the area of infrastructure, Akeredolu had shortly after his swearing-in as Governor of Ondo State for his second term in office on February 24, 2021, disclosed that no project will be abandoned upon the completion of his tenure come February 24, 2024.

Adhering to his pledge, a number of roads projects had been completed across the state, with some already commissioned while others are on-going. With the road projects dotting the three senatorial districts of the state, Akeredolu had emphasized that the on-going ones would be completed in due time. According to the governor, the deficit in critical infrastructure occasioned by long years of neglect by successive administrations fired his administration’s determination in the last four years to confront the challenge head-on in spite of the dwindling economy. Akeredolu, who maintained that the road commissioning is a testament that his administration is resolute to face-lift moribund roads across the length and breadth of the state, underscored the importance of roads in the society.

Following his strides in the area of infrastructural development, the governor, who had been staying in a guest chalet in the past four years, had also vowed to build and complete a befitting Governor’s Lodge for subsequent governors in the state. Akeredolu had disclosed that the existing Governor’s Lodge, built by the immediate past administration, had several defects which he said left it unsuitable for any human to live in.

While laying the foundation of the new Governor’s Lodge at the Government House, Alagbaka, Akure, the governor said his administration decided to embark on the construction of a new lodge because the state does not have one, adding that shelter cannot be abrogated in human’s scale of preference. Akeredolu disclosed that the poorly constructed building appeared to be weak and may collapse anytime.

He said: “Our first reaction to the ugly development was to involve the best of cost-effective steps to put to good use the facilities. In pursuant of this, qualified and experienced building experts were invited to work with our in-house professionals to carry out due diligence and survey on the structures.

“The objective of our action was to have a concise report on the adequacy of spaces, snags, building health and cost of remedial works. The report, thereafter, submitted by the experts revealed a humongous cost of putting the old lodge in a befitting status and yet it will not adequately compensate for the value of money to be spent. “In our quest to continuously strive to fulfil our sacred vows to our people and leave a good legacy, a committee was set up to work on the experts recommendation and come up with a design for the construction of a new Governor’s Lodge for the Ondo State government.

The committee has turned in its recommendation on the construction of a new Governor’s Lodge of which we are here today to formally commence.” Akeredolu added that the new aesthetically designed Governor’s Lodge was conceived with the best expectations of any Governor’s Lodge in the country.

“The structure sits on approximately 2,000 square meters of land and measures about 18 meters from the ground floor to the tip of the iconic roof. “The facilities will house a Banquet Hall to seat about 250 guests, basement parking, indoor and outdoor kitchen, swimming pool, sitting lounge, atrium sitting room, bedrooms and other functional spaces.

“Information Communication Technology (ICT) software and gadgets will be applied in the finishing of this edifice while the entire environment will be adorned with both soft and hard landscape,” Governor Akeredolu said. He added that his administration has been able to make bold footprints in the building infrastructure sector.

“We have conceived, delivered and are still working on some of the following construction projects: construction of Ultra-modern Internal Revenue Service Headquarters, construction of Modern Guest Chalets in the Government House Grounds. Also, during the anniversary of his 100 days in office, the governor commissioned the first mosque in the Government House for Muslim faithful. With the mosque named after the erstwhile Chairman of the state Muslim Welfare Board, Late Alhaji Khaleel Fawehinmi, who died last year, Akeredolu said the construction of the mosque inside the Government House exemplifies the essence of unity in diversity, love and peaceful coexistence.

The governor said: “I wish to remember my late friend and erstwhile Chairman of the Muslims Welfare Board, Alhaji Khaleel Fawehinmi, (may Almighty Allah grant him Aljannah Firdaus) who worked assiduously towards the actualisation of this project and also the Honourable Commissioner for Lands and Infrastructure, Engr. (Alhaji) Raimi Aminu and his team who also contributed in no small measure to ensure that history is made today in this regard.

“The commissioning of the mosque would now afford public servants in this environment the opportunity to perform their religious obligations with much ease. It would also avail our Muslim visitors the opportunity of a conducive place of worship.” It is thus crystal clear that the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is determined to leave a mark in his final term in office.

Read Previous

Lagos bubbles as athletes arrive for national trials

Read Next

1st anniversary: Oniru gets Presidency’s vote of confidence

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *