Ondo: Rotimi Akeredolu’s 3-year performance in perspectives

At a time when electorates are taking stocks of what they call democracy dividends in their respective states, it’s a different stroke for residents of Ondo state who say the performance of the government is below average. BARNABAS OLABISI writes.

In modern democratic experiment, the provision of roads and other infrastructural developments had always been the basis for measuring the performance index of any administration vis-a-vis the welfare of the people and general conditional of residents

Looking at the Rotimi Akeredolu-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration in Ondo state over the last three years that it has been in office, Blueprint gathered that people from different quarters and communities across the state still clamour for one attention or the other as to what they refer to as dividends of democracy. In their opinion, such is yet to be at their doorsteps.

However, it is on the contrary in the views of the information and orientation commissioner in the state, Donald Ojogo. He said the performance of the Akeredolu-led administration in the three senatorial districts areas of the state can be described as encouraging especially with the provision of motorable roads and other infrastructures.

Performance below average – PDP stalwart

However, Madam Maria Adeseke, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart in the state sees it differently. She notes that nearly all roads in the state are in total disrepair, saying the same goes to other sectors like health, education and others. “No governor or administration in the history of the state in the last 43 years of the state’s existence has constructed the numbers of roads in terms of kilometres as done by late Dr Olusegun Kokumo Agagu. She said during his tenure, all sectors of human endeavours were not left out. The present administration in the state, she noted may still be ranked at 35% in this regard.

At this point, the adage that says, ‘heaven help those who help themselves’ would suffice to say the least. In life, one starts at lifting a luggage before others can give a helping hand in any circumstances one finds himself. While the situation and circumstances are more or less the same in every state, nowadays no government is ready to pay attention on the welfare of the electorates until elections approach.

Good governance no longer exists -Nonagenarian

According to a nonagenarian, Madam Adetayo Comfort, who lives at Abusoro area of Olufoam in the state, “In the early years when we used to have responsive and responsible leadership in government, the moment a community starts a project and with notice of government, such efforts would be appreciated and government would take such responsibilities on their shoulders for proper completion. I am not sure such is still applicable now.”

Blueprint gathered that Abusoro, Amese, Emure and Olufoam are communities in Akure South local government area of the state that spread from Ilesa/Owo highway on a very large land spanning several kilometres length and breadth bursting again to Iju in Akure North local government area through to Ado-Ekiti road.

These communities start from Akure South local government and expanded also to Akure North local government with various communities within. And talking of the population statistics of these areas, we shall have nothing less than 50,000 residents both males and females, young and old and they are legible voters.

Nothing to show for it – Community leader

Narrating his experiences in these communities, Mr Ola Ayeni, chairman central zone in the area that controls nothing less than 10 areas with a large numbers of other communities like Asala, Brazil, Olujimokun, Olowolagba, Agric, Abusoro among, others; they say it has not been easy for them in terms of democracy dividends.

According to him, although the areas are developing, the thick population of residents in those areas cannot be neglected from the way it is presently.

Ayeni noted that for almost 10 to 12 years now, there is nothing that any successive governments can pin-point in the communities that government has contributed or can they beat their chest about any project inaugurated in those communities. Except one or two non-functional bore holes drilled during late Olusegun Agagu’s administration.

“Starting from the road construction in those areas, erection of electricity poles that is supposed to be the main function of the power generating company, residents of these communities have always contributed and made them functional through their sweat, or else no light or road for them to move.

“We the people of these communities, Olufoam,Amese, Emure and Abusoro, have been struggling all the while to make things work for ourselves, starting from our road construction, erection of electricity poles and maintenance. All the same, we have no good roads, no hospital, no school, either public primary or secondary school, no market amongst other social amenities.”

According to residents, some of the politicians only come to their assistance whenever election approaches with promises of heaven and earth. After the elections, those politicians would cease to be in sight,” he noted.

Mr Ayeni recollects that the present administration of Akeredolu sometimes in the early part of the administration gave rays of hope that the bad roads in the areas, which always bring nightmare to residents whenever they are plying, would soon get attention; All of a sudden, that the hope was dashed as it was said not to have been included among the roads undergoing construction presently during this ongoing rainy season.

As this rainy period creates nightmare for residents, bringing their vehicles outside the community or coming back home, most times, poses great dilemma the moment because of the down pour to avoid getting stuck along the way due to the bad condition of those roads.

Residents noted that this is a very serious problem that needs the urgent attention of government in the interest of development. Many of the residents informed Blueprint that during the elections, nearly everyone has to cross the highway in order to cast their votes for politicians vying for positions, a situation that calls for the creation of one or two wards in the areas.

Akinfolarin Gbenga, secretary of the central zone in the community, posits that there are lots of challenges being faced by the residents, ranging from bad road network to epileptic power supply and lack of social amenities. He pleaded that the present administration in the state should come to the aid of Amese, Emure, Abusoro and Olufoam residents, noting that votes coming out of those areas are numerous.

State gov’t committed to dev’t – Akeredolu

However, Ondo state government has vowed to continue making rapid development possible in all nooks and crannies of the state, in addition to the welfare and safety for her citizens. To that extent, Governor Akeredolu says he would not play politics with his words at giving the state the desire development.

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