The state government of Osun, on Thursday, took on the former deputy governor of the state, Senator Iyiola Omisore for claiming that the newly commissioned N1.6 billion Olaiya-Odi-Olowo- Ita-Olookan reconstructed road project was financed by United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
In a statement signed by the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Adelani Baderinwa, the government contended that the claim by Omisore over alleged counterpart funding of the road, christened “Workers’ Drive” by Governor Rauf Aregbesola was not true.
The statement forwarded to newsmen in Osogbo reads thus “it has come to the attention of the Osun State government that an embattled former governor of the state, Senator Iyiola Omisore and some unscrupulous elements are lying around on the funding of the just commissioned Workers Drive, making attempt to misinform members of the public.”
“To set the record straight, the reconstruction of the Workers Drive was financed by Osun and the fund was sourced from the Omoluabi Infrastructure Conservation Fund. Moreover, the Workers Drive is not Osun groove road; it is the road that leads to Osun groove road.”
“Governor Rauf Aregbesola had in November, 2015 during the flag off of the road construction categorically declared that the fund for the commencement of construction of the road will be sourced from the Omoluabi Infrastructure Conservation Fund, with the help of the state House of Assembly.”
“This is the reason behind the commendation of members of the House of Assembly by Governor Aregbesola during the commissioning of the Workers Drive on Tuesday. He appreciated their legislative role in the finance of the project. UNESCO is not in any way involved in the finance of the project at all. It becomes imperative to state that rather than providing a fund for the road, UNESCO had requested the government to re-work and change the course of the road that leads to Osun groove so as to retain its being a World Heritage Site. UNESCO made some other demands in this regard.”
“As much as the government would not mind fulfilling the UNESCO requests, State Government of Osun does not have the financial wherewithal to so do now for obvious economic reasons. Besides, it is a known fact that UNESCO as an organisation does not give money for any counterpart project funding; rather, such is given in kind and not in cash as the debased personality of the impeached Deputy governor would want the people to believe”.
“It is disturbing that a man who has been a perpetual aspirant to the exalted seat of Governor could lack knowledge of running of an organisation such as UNESCO and what the true situation is with the state he so desperately desired to rule. It is also pitiable and ridiculous that somebody aspiring to rule the people of Osun cannot differentiate between the road leading to Osun Groove and the one that links the road that leads to the Groove. Omisore is likely to turn the progressive march of Osun back if (and God will forbid that) he should mistakenly become Governor with his clear lack of basic knowledge of governance.”