By Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin
The incoming administration of President Elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been charged to make construction of roads one of the administration’s priority quick- wins, especially in Kwara State, to ensure the rapid socio-economic development of the Nation.
A former Leader, Kwara State House of Assembly in the Second Republic, Chief Stephen Wole Oke, gave the charge while speaking with newsmen in Ilorin, the state capital, on his memo to Tinubu.
He said: “Our expectations, especially in Kwara State, in the next four years include the need to motivate the BUA Group to act fast, and diligently too, on construction work on the four roads recently approved for the State by the Federal Government.”
Chief Wole Oke, who is the Jagunmolu of Shao and a Chief 33tain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State, said the roads include the 130-kilometer Kosubosu- Kaiama- Bode Saadu highway, the 83-kilometer Bacita- Shonga- Lafiagi highway, the 49-kilometer Eiyenkorin- Afon – Offa- Odo Otin highway and the/33-kilometer Okuta- Bukuro road, connecting Benin Republic.
These roads, according to the APC Chieftain, are vital and strategic to the overall development of the agrarian Kwara State, calling on the incoming President to ensure its completion before the end of his first term of four years, adding that they should not become abandoned projects under his presidency.
Urging work to resume on the Ogbomosho- Ilorin dual carriageway, Chief Oke said: “It is a shame that for the eight years of Obasanjo, it never occurred to him that charity should begin at home. A south westerner, yet for all of eight years in power, he never reasoned along the path of his people’s infrastructural needs, principally, roads. We are all witnesses to the wonders Buhari is performing for his peoples in the north and even extending socio-economic care beyond the boundary of Northern Nigeria to another country, Niger Republic.”
He advised the new administration to do everything possible to ensure early completion of the Ogbomosho/Ilorin/Jebba dual carriageway, saying it would be an eternal monument of Tinubu’s administration.
Wole Oke added: “With each passing day, Nigeria and her citizens are moving closer to the end of one era and the beginning of another era. How time flies! On May 29,2023, the baton of leadership would be exchanged when President Muhammadu Buhari would be handing over power to his successor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President-elect in the general elections of 2023.
“Like every Nigerian citizen, the question that should normally play out on the lips of Kwarans is: what awaits their State in terms of development, growth and progress in the next four years spanning the first term tenure of the incoming President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who will be taking over from President Buhari Muhammadu.
“This question is not only natural but more justifiable in view of what has been the lot of the State these past 24 years of return to democratic governance in the country under the previous regimes. What has been the evidence of the federal government presence in the State under the past four presidents, beginning with Olusegun Obasanjo to Musa Yar Adua to Good Luck Jonathan and ending with the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari?
“President Buhari has had the privilege and opportunity to lead the country for eight years. Kwara State has also had the rare opportunity of having two of her citizens, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Senator Gbemisola Saraki, as members of the Federal Executive Council. They have all along been Cabinet Ministers in the Buhari administration. For these eight years, what can the State boast of as the unique benefits to the State, deriving from, and/or attributable to, the two ministers’ membership of the Buhari administration and who are, not only constitutionally but naturally, our ears and eyes in the Executive Arm of the Federal government since these past eight years.”
He called on the President-elect to consider giving substantive appointments to Kwara citizens under his administration especially placements on Commissions, Corporations and Boards of Parastatal Organisations and Agencies.
“I therefore admonish the new government to take special cognisance of Kwara State, that is, its geographical location conferring on it a status, which has made it the navel of the Country and around which the economic development of the Country should therefore naturally revolve,” he added.
Kwara State Chief Wole Oke noted, has the most temperate climate, that makes it most suitable for large-scale agricultural activities, making it more deserving of the Federal Government’s special attention by making the State the Nation’s economic hub, particularly, in the agricultural sector and mineral resources exploration.
In the area of health care, he urged the Federal Government to establish a Federal Medical Centre in the State to complement the state government’s effort.
“Further on health sector, there is an obvious need for a research centre for traditional medicine. Looking deeper inward, there is the need to promote our own medicament in the country (China stands out as our worthy example). Your government should blaze the trail by initiating the plan for the establishment of a Research Centre for Traditional Medicine. As a matter of fact, each of the six geo-political zones in the Country should have such Research Centre established in their region for obvious plausible reasons,” he concluded.