Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has charged President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to provide good leadership noting that Nigerians are in pain. Ortom attributed the pain Nigerians are going through to the continued show of lack of capacity to deliver good leadership by the Buhari led government dating back to 2015.
He declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government was in deficit of good governance by failing especially in aspects of security and the economy.
Ortom who made these declarations during the inauguration of the 65km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin road, Oyo State, on Thursday, said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was poised to take over leadership in 2023 to change the fortunes of the nation for the better.
Doing a comparison of the state of affairs of the nation when the PDP handed over to the APC in 2015 to the current situation, Ortom argued that it had become clear to every Nigerian that the APC does not have the capacity to deliver good governance.
While noting that the security challenges hampered development in the country, Ortom, however, said governors of PDP controlled states continued to defy the challenges to deliver desired leadership and good governance.
Giving an instance of his being in Oyo state to inaugurate the 65km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin road, Ortom said it has been a story of flag-off and inauguration of projects across all PDP controlled states showing PDP governors to provide the leadership that Nigerians yearn for.
Ortom said: “Let me once again call on the APC led the Federal Government to rise up and give leadership; our people are in pain. From North East to North West, North Central, South-South, South East, South West, everyone is faced with security challenges and without security, there can be no meaningful development except in PDP controlled states. I have invited many of my colleagues and I will invite my brother too to commission projects in my own state because we are performing despite all odds.
“The PDP is working despite all the security and economic challenges in the country. PDP has demonstrated leadership that is why we are commissioning this road today. It is amazing and I want to challenge the APC in this country because they have failed.
“They have failed economically, security-wise, socially and politically. The APC government is in deficit. Government is all about providing security for lives and property; government is about providing infrastructure like the one we are doing here today.
“Today, I am here in Oyo State; my brother was in Adamawa which is a PDP controlled state to commission projects and lay foundation; go to Rivers State, everyday what you see is laying of foundation and commissioning of projects; go to Bauchi, Sokoto and to all PDP controlled states, you will see development, that is what leadership is and that is what the people of Nigeria are yearning for.
“Within the space of two years, we are here to commission, amongst others, 65 kilometres of road duly asphalted with a guarantee of 20 years.
“In 2015, the mantle of leadership was given to the APC but from all indication, it is clear to every Nigerian that APC does not have the capacity to deliver. How much was a dollar when power was given to APC in 2015?
“What was the nature of our security problem in the country when APC took over power in 2015? What was our social relationship and politically too, where are we? But let us work hard and as we pray, whether Christians or Muslims, let us apply work because faith without work is dead.”
Ortom praised the Oyo governor for his strides over the course of the past two years, urging him to continue to give leadership that leads people out of their pains.
The inauguration saw Makinde explain why his government awarded the road N2.9bilion higher than the N7billion cost awarded by the immediate past government that was revoked.
Makinde said his government awarded the total reconstruction of this 65km road done at N9.9bilion, translating to N152million per kilometre, with the contractor, KOPEK Construction assuring 20 years before any major rehabilitation is done.
Makinde explained that the project amount was increased because his administration wanted a road that will last at least 10years hence decided to increase the stubbing course of the road from about 150mm to about 200mm, changed the asphaltic wearing course from 40mm to 50mm and made adequate provision for drainage.
He knocked the late Senator Abiola Ajimobi led government for awarding the road project for N7billion under what it termed “limited rehabilitation” where N2billion was given out to one Oladiran Associate and the project never made good progress.
Describing the “limited rehabilitation” term by the past government as an avenue to patch and embezzle money, Makinde said his administration retrieved N1billion out of the N2billion that the Oladiran Associate received for the road project.
Makinde said: “The immediate past government have a language they use when they want to embezzle money. The word they use is limited rehabilitation. So a contract for limited rehabilitation of the road was awarded for about N7billion. Before we came, they had paid N2billion and they awarded the project to one Oladiran Associate. They did not take the project beyond just a nearby bridge there for over two years and collected N2billion. But I collected N1billion out of that N2billion the last government paid.
“When we awarded the project for N9.9billion, they went to town saying that we awarded the project at an amount higher than the N7billion that they did. They used the same language of limited rehabilitation to award the Ologuneru-Eruwa road. I was there yesterday and you can see their limited rehabilitation. They paid N6billion for that road but as I collected N1billion for the Moniya-Iseyin road, I will also collect back some money spent on the Ologuneru-Eruwa road.
“We factored that the road will last for at least 10years but the Managing Director of KOPEK is here and they gave me a guarantee of 20years on this road. I will hold them accountable.
“So, for this reason, we decided to increase the stubbing course of the road from about 150mm to about 200mm and we also changed the asphaltic wearing course from 40mm to 50mm. Looking at the initial design, we also realized that there was inadequate provision for drainage. So, we had to remedy that too.
“The original contract was for what they called limited rehabilitation. This is just a fancy way of saying they would patch the road. They would look at those areas that they felt were bad and do some rehabilitation works. For us, this was flawed logic.
“We knew this would only amount to kicking the ball forward. In a year or so, we would be back to doing major rehabilitations. So, with all the available data, we decided that the more logical thing to do would be to increase the contract sum by about N2.9billion naira and deliver the quality of road that our people deserved.
“What we have done here is the total reconstruction of this 65km road at N9.9bilion and this translates to N152million per kilometre. So, again, based on science, data and logic, we made the best decision overall.”
Present at the event were members of the Oyo State and Benue State executive council; members of the Oyo State house of Assembly led by its Speaker, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin; the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji; the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdulganiy Adekunle, among other dignitaries.