‘From the promise to the deed is a day’s journey.’ ~ Bulgarian Proverb
Governor Seyi Makinde’s campaing train berthed at the palace of Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Dr. Abdganiy Salawudeen Oloogunebi (Ajinese 1) in January 21st, 2019 and he made the promise that the Moniya-Iseyin road would be reawarded and reconstructed. Fast-forward to 5th November, 2019, the road was rewarded to KOPEK Construction.
Among other promises is the establishment of a higher institution of learning in the community, which has also been given a fulfillment, as the Faculty of Agriculture of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso has been approved to be sited at the Iseyin-Ogbomoso road, which is another project about to start in the ancient town.
Like the Arabians will say, a promise is a cloud, fulfillment is rain. The 75kilometers road, that was for a long period a hell on earth, when one remembers the pain suffered by motorists and passengers on this road when it was initially abandoned, is now a smooth, 50minutes drive, depending on the person of the driver.
I remember a particular occasion that I had driven from Ibadan to Ijaye village, under the Akinyele local government area and the damaged road would not allow vehicles to meander like they have been managing to do at the popular Ijaye market. It was a sorry sight as over hundred vehicles, mostly trailers ferrying foodstuffs and other goods lined the road.
Many people had to make a u-turn and go back through Oyo road or Eruwa road. Yours went on a back-wrenching escapade as I tried to pass through the abandoned Olorisa-Oko towards Akufo to link Ido in Ido local government.
Back to the major focus of this piece, the Moniya-Iseyin road is a promise fulfilled, as the contractor has delivered almost 95% of the job, while work is vigorously going on for delivery before the due date of commissioning by Governor Seyi Makinde.
The road is the major gateway to the ten local government areas that make up the Oke-Ogun region of Oyo State, where 65% of the residents are into farming and agricultural activities, which include, animal husbandry, weaving of Aso-Ofi, traditional blacksmithing and exploration of rare stones.
The reconstructed road has the potentials to increase food production to major cities in the country and contribute immensely to the revenue generation drive of the State and federal government, while individual business concerns that are located in the region are expected to take the advantage of the paved road to increase their commercial activities.
Commercial drivers like Mr. Wahab Saka, from Saki in Saki West Local Government are full of praises for the governor and his administration, for determining to reconstruct the road and seeing to its completion in a very short time.
“It is one thing to promise, it is another thing to fulfil it, the governor promised the people of this region that this road will be reconstructed because he heard our cries and yearnings for this to happen, he has done what God urge every human to do, which is to do exactly, that which he or she has promised.
“We are grateful for this gesture and we hope it will not be the end of it, there are so me other major roads in the Oke-Ogun area that also have same commercial values like that of Moniya-Iseyin road, they connect major towns in the region and belong to the State, we wish they will also get the same attention.”
To the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdulganiy Adekunle Oloogunebi, what many politicians are known for is failed promises, but Governor Seyi Makinde has shown himself to be above board in the area of fulfilling promises he made during hios campaign.
He drew the attention of those in his presence while I was chatting with him to the fact that he would not forget the gesture of the governor and for him, he has fulfilled one of his yearnings as Oba that the road that has been a sore point for his people is not a source of joy for them.
“I am fulfilled, the governor has made me proud and I will be forever proud of him. We all know how my people have cried to God and politicians to help us reconstruct the road, today, somebody that promised to reconstruct it has delivered, I pray that God will not desert Governor Makinde,” he prayed.
Many people I spoke with also commented and commended the government and the contractor on the quality of the road, the thickness of the asphalt, the dredging of waterways along the road and drainage system that they believe would make the road sustainable.
They however called on the supervising government agency, which is the State Ministry of Public Works and Transport, to put in place an enduring maintenance system that will make the road last long before depreciation would start reflecting on it.
The Japanese would say ‘eggs and promises are easily broken’, but we are grateful to Governor Seyi Makinde, for keeping these two fragile entities from breaking and fulfilling his pact with the people on this important, particular project.
Alhazan Abiodun Rilwan is the Editor of the Oyo State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism’s Press Center and Head of ICT.