Chris Steven, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress, APC in Oyo State has taken a swipe at former governor Rashidi Ladoja over the claims that he was the initiator of the idea of Ibadan Circular Road project which was successfully flagged off on Friday by the incumbent governor, Abiola Ajimobi describing such claim as ridiculous, gibberish and misconceived.
The ground breaking ceremony of the 110 km road project took place on Friday at Badeku in Ona-Ara Local Government Area of the state following a successful partnership between Ajimobi administration and a China-based consortium of global investors who would solely finance the N70 billion massive road project on a build, operate and transfer agreement with the Oyo State Government.
In a statement issued on Sunday by its director of publicity and strategy, Olawale Sadare, the governing APC condemned the claims by Ladoja’s Accord Party that the idea of a circular road for Ibadan was that of the former governor who ruled the state between 2003 and 2007 when his deputy took over from him in a controversial circumstances and thereby subjecting the Pacesetter State to eight years of political instability and social unrest.
“In the history of Nigeria, between 2003 and 2007 represents an era when little or no development took place in Oyo State as a result of reign of terror occasioned by the hijack of power by some characters who should not have had any business in government.
This was a period when violence, brigandage and lawlessness became the order of the day while those at the helms of affairs could not do anything meaningful for the people.
“But for pettiness and vindictiveness, a supposed senior citizen should not have instigated any controversy over the idea of designing and constructing a circular road for a sprawling metropolis like Ibadan.
The records are there for those seeking to alter history because the fact remains that the administration of Alhaji Lamidi Onaolapo Adesina came up with the idea in 2002 but paucity of fund aborted the plan.
“On this note, it is important to remind former governor Ladoja that incompetence, battle for political survival and corruption heralded his reign for four years such that his administration winded up without any concrete achievement for the state.
Also, the ill-conceived contract award of the circular road project he did as soon as he came back from his impeachment break in 2007 was cancelled by the Alao-Akala administration immediately he came to power to succeed Ladoja.
“However, if the latest spate of attacks against the person of the performing Sen. Ajimobi is aimed at preparing a ground for Ladoja to come out of political retirement which the APC handed him in 2015, we make bold to have a rethink as no amount of such antics would either make the good people of the state fall for gerontocracy or misconstrue the sterling performance and astute leadership of Gov. Ajimobi for something else.” Sadare said.
The APC added that Sen. Abiola Ajimobi would go down in the history of Oyo State “as a governor who raised the bar of good governance and purposeful leadership by defying all odds occasioned by lack of funds, unfavorable economic condition and political distractions to deliver on peace and security, massive infrastructural facelift, value re-orientation, key sectors development among others.
“However, we urge Sen. Ladoja to desist from seeking to rubbish all the good work of the present administration in the state in their bid to warm up for another disgraceful outing in 2019. We wonder what could have made anyone to condemn massive projects like the ICR, Technical University and many others if not sheer hypocrisy and cluelessness.
The truth remains that never again the good people of Oyo State wish for a governor who would not know what to do in government to move the Pacesetter State forward in whatever circumstance.” The statement concluded.