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Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Saturday, said the Ilaro-Owode Road under construction would be completed and inaugurated in May 2022.
The governor, who stated at the grand finale of 2021 Orona Ilaro celebration held at the Olu of Ilaro Palace, equally said that he had ordered work should be expedited on the road to meet the completion deadline.
Abiodun added that the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure had also been given directive to carry out palliative work on the Papalanto-Ilaro road.
“We are assiduously working on road projects across Yewaland and the entire Ogun West senatorial District. We are working on the Ilaro-Owode–Idiroko Road, which is a Federal Road. I have ordered that work should be expedited on this road in view of its strategic importance to the economic development of this area.
“Work on the 100 kilometer Sagamu interchange-Papalanto-Ilaro road which has been handed over to Alhaji Aliko Dangote to reconstruct through the government’s tax credit programme will soon commence. The design is ready and the contractor should move to site soon. We will continue to improve our PPP programme to identify necessary funding options for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of major roads in our dear State”, he stated.
The governor further said work was going on steadily on Atan-Lusada-Agbara road which leads to the heart of Ogun industrial estate in Agbara.
He mentioned Imasayi-Igan Okoto-Ayetoro road, Oke Ola and Ago-Oshoffa roads as well as Oke Afa Road and Bridge at Agosasa, as some of the major roads being rehabilitated i n Ogun Wwst
Abiodun, however, noted that it was imperative for the people to live in peace, stressing that for peaceful and egalitarian society, greater caution, mutual respect and healthy co-existence are expected from the people.
“While I will appeal for greater caution, mutual respect and healthy co-existence among our people, let me assure you that we are up to the task to protect you at all times and in all places. Our reinvigorated security machinery will be enough to defend all our people, irrespective of whether they are indigenes or settlers.
“We have empowered our security men and women with equipment, logistics and other wherewithal to deal with infractions and public disturbances. We must learn to live in peace, harmony and understanding among ourselves”, the governor pointed out.
Abiodun noted that his administration is proud to identify with the people of Ilaro and Yewaland, adding that the Oronna Ilaro Festival has grown beyond celebration, but a convergence to reflect the collective aspiration to internalise the economic, historical and spiritual antecedents, and unity of the past heroes and leave a better legacy for the coming generations.
The governor observed that the festival should serve as a motivation for communal understanding, love and unity and for augmenting steady progress, peace and development of the larger community.
“I must confess that Yewaland did not just give us the cognomen, Gateway State by fortuitous circumstances of its economy and geography, but it is a priority for us. We have done and we will continue to do a lot of work on job creation, poverty alleviation and food security. I can only assure you that we are not resting on our oars”, Abiodun said.
While acknowledging this year’s Oronna Day is a great improvement on the previous ones, he emphasised the festival was meant to preserve, uphold and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the Ilaro people, as well as bring together all the sons and daughters of Ilaro within and in the Diaspora, for the development of the town.
Eulogising Oronna, the governor said “Oronna was the mythological hero of Ilaro people who has become a rallying point to aggregate views, promote peace and prosperity and provides a platform for other values and virtues that he embodied while alive. Oronna was a selfless, altruistic, courageous and charismatic leader who distinguished himself in battles against the Dahomeans and others who were a scourge to the area at the time”.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Toyin Taiwo, said the event provides an opportunity for cross fertilization of ideas for development as well as a platform to preserve cultural heritage which has invariably impacted on the development of Ilaro and it’s environs.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, maintained that the festival was an avenue for bringing sons and daughters of the town to work on its development, saying the renovation of the State Hospital in the town was an indication that the governor was ready to give all parts of the state a sense of belonging.
The Olu of Ilaro and paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle noted that the senatorial district has been abandoned and dejected in the past as projects were started, but not completed.
The monarch stressed that infrastructure, which is the foundation for development remains the major challenge in the senatorial district, lauding Gvernor Abiodun for giving Yewaland serious consideration in the scheme of things in the state.