Buhari decries decay of public facilities
‘How three and half years changed Nigeria’
REGRETS for the widespread decay of the nation’s infrastructure took the front burner yesterday as President Muhammadu Buhari visited Ogun State .
The president who spoke at a luncheon in his honour on the occasion of Ogun state’s 40th anniversary also thanked former President Olusegun Obasanjo who as a Military Head of State appointed him to serve as minister of petroleum .
Making reference to the state of infrastructure when he was petroleum minister under Obasanjo, compared to the existing state of affairs , the president stated that so much was achieved within the span of three and a half years.
“ More investments and infrastructural development were recorded in the petroleum industry then. Two refineries were built; one in Warri and another in Kadunna,” he said.
He stated further that more than 20 depots were built, more than 3,500 pipelines were linked and that the country was exporting about one 100,000 barrels of petroleum per day after satisfying the Nigerian local market.
Though weighty matters of state were on his mind, the president also allowed a not-often-seen jovial side slip out when he told the crowd that Abeokuta was the first city where he served as a newly commissioned second lieutenant in the Nigerian Army in January 1963.
The president said he would need to reorient himself with the city again as he believed it would be difficult for him to locate the Army Barracks or the Lisabi Club where he used to socialise in those days.
“If you drive me round Abeokuta now and ask me where the barracks is, I tell you, I will get missing”, Buhari told the crowd made up of dignitaries, traditional rulers as well as ordinary citizens of Ogun State.
Buhari thanked the governor for inviting him to the occasion, saying he was particularly pleased with the various people-oriented projects such as good roads, schools amongst other infrastructural development built by the government.
In his comments, Obasanjo expressed deep appreciation to the president for the visit despite his tight schedule Obasanjo said: “We are happy that we are celebrating this occasion, the 40th anniversary of the creation of Ogun State. As you know, to say that any of us was singularly responsible for the creation of the state at that time will not be correct because at that time it was a collective effort by all of us.
“Let me say this, the governor has rightfully paid tribute to all those who have come before him and one of the things that has happened in this state which I hope will happen in other states and indeed in Nigeria is that progressive people, each governor that has come has built on the legacies that they have met.
“For me it is a great joy to see that the seed of the Supreme Military Council planted 40 years ago has now become the tree that we are all basking in its success today. My prayer is that the next 40 years of Ogun State will be greater, better than the last 40 years”.
Amosun in his brief remark thanked the president for coming to the state despite his tight schedule. Buhari who is visiting the state for the first time since assumption of office arrived to a rousing welcome.
Security was very tight as police personnel with security dogs, anti-bomb squads, soldiers, Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) officials, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officials and members of the local vigilance group took up positions in strategic locations to control traffic and movement of people and ensure a hitch-free visit.
All major markets, shops and some principal roads within the city were closed for the most part of the day to allow the president and his entourage free movement.
Also at the luncheon which took place on the grounds of the estate named after him were the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Chief John Oyegun; the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajumobi, among others.
Prominent indigenes of the state at the luncheon included Obasanjo and his wife, Bola; former head of the defunct interim national government, Chief Earnest Shonekan; wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo; the Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle; the Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo; Osile of Oke-Ona, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso; Olowu of Owu, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu; Akarigbo and paramount ruler of Remoland, Oba Michael Adeniyi Soariwo; Awujale and Paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona and the Dagburewe of Idowa, Oba Yinusa Adekoya .