The All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Oyo State have disagreed over the necessity of the state government’s planned N8bn Iwo-Road interchange expansion project.
Recall that Gov. Seyi Makinde had on Friday announced plans to embark on the reconstruction of the popular Iwo Road interchange in Ibadan, the state capital.
According to him, the project would be completed within a year and is aimed at decongesting the area as well as giving it a facelift.
While the APC accused the governor of suffering from misplaced priority and attempting to squander government resources, the PDP, said the APC was insensitive to the plight of commuters in the axis.
It also accused APC of showing disregard for the state economy which it said had suffered from the perennial traffic congestion at the interchange.
In a statement issued in Ibadan on Sunday by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ayobami Adejumo, the APC said: “The good people of the state were taken aback by the action of Gov. Makinde last Friday when he chose a mosque as the place to announce the plan to do a multi-billion project.
“Without any record of presentation at the state executive council meeting or consideration and approval by the appropriate organs of government as required by law, the governor reeled out a contract sum for another white elephant project.
“What is the scope of the project and where are the engineering designs that culminated in the contract sum? Was there any due diligence before the cost was arrived at? When did the consultants carry out the survey of the proposed site?
Where is the bill of quantity? When did the relevant office advertise for tender?
“Why the desperation on the part of Gov. Makinde to commit such a huge amount of money to any construction work in an area that would be covered by two different projects already awarded by the federal government?”
According to the party, there were indications that the ongoing reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the recently-awarded rehabilitation of the Ibadan-Ife expressway would effectively take care of the interchange.
Adejumo accused the Makinde-led administration of always putting the cart before the horse, adding that “the people of the state cannot just watch while a government without any blueprint or action plan will continue to experiment after five months in office.
“If not sheer display of incompetence and the unbridled quest to mismanage public funds, there is no reason for this kind of desperation for contract awards by the present administration.”
Reacting to APC’s criticism the PDP in a statement signed by the state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Akeem Olatunji, said its immediate response was to educate the party on the forward-looking approach already adopted by Gov. Makinde in solving the problem of the
He said: “Let us place it on record that Iwo Road is not just a segment of a road located within the Oyo state capital; it is an interchange that has become the melting point of all travellers within Nigeria.
“It brings those coming from the North face to face with travellers across the South-West, South-South and South-East as well.
“The criticism by the APC shows a clear insensitivity to the plight of commuters who daily waste lots of man-hours trying to wade through the sea of traffic around the interchange.
“Makinde is not only on point with the decision to reconstruct Iwo Road, but has also shown his humane character by choosing to directly explain the developmental objectives to the people around the area.
“It will shock the APC to note that the people who worship at the Adogba mosque and others who will be affected by the demolition exercise have gladly adopted the governor’s decision, following the interface.
“We are reassured by the fact that the PDP government has, in less than five months, designed and started implementing a holistic solution to the perennial Iwo Road traffic problem.”