Public infrastructure put in place by the immediate past administration in the State of Osun are currently suffering negligence under Governor Adegboyega Oyetola’s administration, investigations have revealed.
Specifically, OSUN DEFENDER noted that the infrastructure bequeathed on Oyetola by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration are lacking in maintenance and are falling apart under the current government.
It is observed that there seems to be a deliberate attempt to allow Aregbesola’s legacy projects rot away in the face of the ongoing political onslaught on the Minister of Interior by his successor.
The medium noted that aside Gbongan-Akoda and Osogbo-Ila-Odo roads, other infrastructure left behind by Aregbesola are totally left unattended to in terms of maintenance.
Among the legacy projects of Aregbesola, which are seriously begging for attention of the current administration is Nelson Mandela FREEDOM PARK, Osogbo.
The Freedom Park, built by Aregbesola’s administration, is an exceptional tourist haven for residents of the capital territory and visitors from far and wide and adjudged to be the most beautiful park in the state.
But the park is now a shadow of it former self as it is no longer functioning.
When OSUN DEFENDER visited the park yesterday, there was no life in the tourist site as everywhere was overgrown with weeds, while some residents had turned some sections of the park to a drying site for clothes.
The abandonment of the park has been generating hues and cries on the social media as residents of the state unanimously condemned its ‘disheartening state’.
Also, some of the OMOLUABI SCHOLAR BUSES procured by the Aregbesola’s administration to be conveying public school students to their various schools across the state have been abandoned and parked at the front of the Ministry of Works and Transport, State Secretariat, Abere.
Some of the buses, it was gathered, developed fault and were not repaired by the government.
It would be recalled that the Osun Civil Societies Coalition (OCSC) had in May this year asked Governor Oyetola to bring back the Omoluabi Scholar buses to be used for commercial transport in Osogbo.
The coalitions said the buses should be put on the roads to cushion the effect of the increment in transport fare by the mini-bus drivers and to break the monopoly of the private sector operators in the transport industry and end the current culture of impunity.
Another legacy project of the Aregbesola’s administration that has been facing operational difficulty is OSUN AMBULANCE Service.
Residents of the state have been lamenting the sharp reduction in the service of the scheme, which used to be a popular and laudable social intervention programme of the state government, after Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES).
OSUN DEFENDER noted that majority of the Ambulance Stations are nearing dilapidation as they have been left unused and maintained.
Investigations also revealed that more than 10 ambulance vehicles have been auctioned.
Also, the medium noted that the FIRE STATION buildings built by the Aregbesola government have been overgrown with weeds.
The buildings which was built in the nine federal constituencies in the state have not been put to use as they were without personnel.
Findings revealed that the fire stations were constructed in Ede, Ilesa, Ile-Ife, Erin-Osun, Iwo, Ila Orangun, Ikirun, Ikire, Ipetu-Ijesha, Ejigbo and Esa-Oke, but all are in a state of disuse.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the newly constructed fire stations in Ile-Ife, Ede and Ejigbo are the only ones in use, while the remaining eight have been under lock and key since their completion about three years ago.
Findings by the medium revealed that the SECURITY infrastructure put in place by the Aregbesola’s government has been discontinued by Governor Oyetola.
Some residents of the state have taken to social media to condemn the ‘worsening security situation of the state, calling on the governor to revive the security architecture left behind by his predecessor.
During his administration, Aregbesola purchased and distributed 125 patrol vehicles to security agencies in the state and specifically provided 25 fully equipped Armoured Personnel Carriers to the state Police Command.
Each of the APC was strategically stationed across the state.
But majority of the patrol vehicles procured have been grounded with no effort to put them back to operational use again.
There is also noticeable reduction in the activities of O’CLEAN, a programme put in place by the immediate past administration to make sure that every nook and cranny of Osun is clean and tidy.
OSUN DEFENDER noted that for about two years, only two or three of the nine refuse parking trucks procured by the government are functioning as some of the trucks were parked inside the Government House.
Controversies Over Integrity Test On High Schools
Education infrastructure is not spared in the abandonment trend. Some schools which need maintenance were obviously left unattended to in spite of several calls by the people of the state on the government.
This has led to controversies over the Structural Integrity Test to be conducted on some of the mega schools constructed by Aregbesola.
According to the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Remi Omowaiye, some of the mega schools have structural defect and the government needed to be proactive to forestall the Ikoyi building collapse in Osun.
Omowaiye said physical inspection of facilities had earlier been conducted in all the 11 mega schools by experts who submitted that it was imperative to conduct structural integrity test on four of the schools.
The affected schools are: Ayedaade Grammar School, Ikire; Fakunle High School, Osogbo; Oduduwa College, Ile- Ife and Akinorun Grammar School, Ikirun.
“A Non Destructive Test (NDT) was carried out on the four Mega Schools. However, the result of the NDT carried out necessitated further structural integrity tests in which we are awaiting the result of the test,” he said.
But some residents of the state have described the move of the government as political and an attempt to demolish the mega schools as part of Oyetola’s plan to erase Aregbesola’s legacy projects.
One of the residents, Olarinre Salami said: “What has the governor and his government been looking since he came into power without replacing the damaged area before it degenerated to this level? Where are the Facility Managers employed by Aregbesola to take care of the school buildings?
“What is the government using the maintenance fees that the students are paying for? Why did Oyetola increase the maintenance fee from N3,000 to N6,000 per student per session without using the money for the maintenance of the schools in the first instance?”
Appearing on a private radio station, Rave FM’s Frank Talk, in Osogbo, on Wednesday, a former Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Kazeem Salami, said the Oyetola administration is out again to rubbish Aregbesola’s legacy projects.
According to Salami, nothing called for the structural integrity test on the school buildings, saying all they need is maintenance.
He said the Oyetola administration wants all Aregbesola’s projects to fall into ruins, noting that that is why it has not been maintaining them.
He said: “Students of the Mega Schools were made to pay N2,000 per term for maintenance which goes directly into each mega school’s account for repairs. What has happened to those funds?
“On 19th March, 2019, a delegation of the engaged Maintenance Officers of the Mega Schools visited Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to give him maintenance situation report of the Mega Schools and to suggest, through their reports, solutions and possible modalities for repairs which were not really alarming as at the time of the visit. Oyetola received the reports and forwarded it to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Abdullahi Binuyo to work on.
“In 2020, Governor Oyetola set up a committee led by the Deputy Governor to engage all the consultants and firms that constructed the mega schools to interrogate them on the standards of the school. The outcome of the whole meeting boils down on maintenance and not construction defects but rather on issues of vandalism and misuse of the modern facilities as proven by the consultants.
“Not long before then, the government through the Ministry of Education, disengaged the Facility Managers without a reasonable reason. They were disengaged through a letter given to them in July 2020 but back-dated to March 31, 2020. The government also scrapped the agency, Omoluabi Educational Service Limited, specifically set up by Aregbesola’s administration to look into the general administration of those schools which had Late Dr. Fagbulu as the Chairman.
“It is sad to let you know that those schools were abandoned and not taking care of ever since the disengagement of the Facility Managers which there was/is NO PLAN of either replacing them or providing another serious alternative for the maintenance of those schools before it got worse.
“Everyone understands that an abandoned building either new or old is prone to huge defects or deformation as a result of lack of maintenance and proper care.
“It is however hypocritical of Governor Oyetola to present a different narration far from the truth, after neglecting various reports on maintenance of those schools as far back as 2019 and then now come up with a letter with inner intention to ridicule Aregbesola’s legacy by condemning the standard of the structures.”