The State Government of Osun has accused the opposition of vandalizing some infrastructural projects being done by Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s admimistration in some parts of Osogbo, the state capital.
The accusation came on the heel of the vandalization of November 26 and August 9 bridges of the Osogbo-East bypass by some yet to be known vandals.
About six feet of the rod used for the expansion joint of the November 26 bridge on the Osun river was
cut away and street light armoured cables were also carted away by the vandals.
At the August 9 bridge, four cast iron which allow surface run off water on the bridge, according to the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Kazem Salami were also stolen.
Speaking at the inspection of the bridges, Salami who was accompanied by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, described the incident as a deliberate sabotage of the infrastructure by some ‘enemies of progress’.
Salami, who dismissed the rumour that the bridge was about to collapse maintained that the vandalized section of the bridge does not in anyway have structural defect on it, stressing that the bridges would last for 30 years before any maintenance work on them would be necessary.
He explained that the expansion joint vandalised was just to take care of the elasticity of the concrete on the bridge, stating that there is no structural defect on them.
The commissioner said: “This is November 26, bridge; some enemies of progress came about two weeks ago and removed all the armoured cable at the side of the parapet wall. They came again on the bridge and cut the binder cords that support the material for the expansion joint.
“They cut some section of the binder cord away. Concrete is a special material. It expands when there is heat and contrast when there is cold. That is why the cords are put at the expansion joint to prevent crack at the joint. But the vandals came, broke the asphalt and cut away the binder cords.
“The contractor has replaced the cords and that is why traffic is diverted for curing period.
“The enemies of progress just wanted to destroy Aregbesola’s job, and they cannot succeed. If any bridge is going to collapse, it is not any of the bridges Aregbesola constructed. The construction strength of these bridges is higher than others anywhere in Nigeria.
Commenting, Baderinwa, the commissioner for Information and Strategy said: “When you look at the kind of work being carried out as far as road construction is concerned in the state, you will appreciate the infrastructural development; only for ignoble people that would start vandalizing the projects. It is the most criminal thing for anybody to do! It is a deliberate sabotage by enemies of this government and the people of the state.
“After November 27th this year, the administration of Aregbesola will be over, but these bridges, like other projects in the state would remain for another 50 years unrepaired. If we have these kind of infrastructure and you think the only thing to do is to start sabotaging, vandalizing them, it is the most unfortunate thing. I pity those who are doing it.
“To establish the sabotaging theory, the opposition people are the ones that first broke the news that the bridge was about to collapse. They were the one that started talking about it. I am throwing it as a challenge to them, that they are the ones that wanted to sabotage the bridge, but God says it is not possible for them.
“I put it to the oppositions in the state that they are the ones that made the attempt. Going by what the commissioner for Works and Transport said, if you firebomb these bridges, they are not going to cave in, that is the reality. But they are not aware of that fact, that is why they are making petty attempts.
“We are challenging them to deny the fact that they are not the ones who first broke the news that the bridges was about to collapse. There is a Yoruba saying that a witch threatened yesterday and the child dies today; it is obvious the witch killed the child. They did it, they brought it to the notice of the public, they wanted to create crisis for the government and they wanted people to lose confidence in the projects being carried out. But unfortunately, as usual, they have failed.