Former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo, Eyitayo Jegede, has tackled governor Rotimi Akeredolu over the dearth of infrastructure and poor state of development in the state.
Mr Jegede, a senior advocate of Nigeria, was the standard bearer of the opposition party in the October 20, 2020 governorship election.
On a political programme monitored by Peoples Gazette and aired on Fresh 102.9 Fm, Akure, on Sunday, while assessing Mr Akeredolu’s performance, Mr Jegede described the past six years of the administration as the “worst” in Ondo’s history.
“Every resident in Ondo state understands because we are all living in this state. Are we satisfied with the current situation under the current administration, do we have the kind of roads that Akure deserves, I’m not saying everyone is not trying but is it enough?
“Look at everything we did when Labour Party and PDP were in power, look at the shuttle buses for students, look at the schools then and free medical services that people enjoyed in government hospitals. Are they existing now? No. This is worse,” he said.
Mr Jegede contested against governor Akeredolu in 2016 and 2020 but lost out in the two Ondo governorship elections to the incumbent.
In the 2022 governorship poll, Mr Jegede scored 195,791 votes to come second in the exercise won by Mr Akeredolu, who polled 292,830 votes.
Mr Akeredolu, who is on his second term in office, had been receiving condemnation from residents of the state over poor governance, particularly the percentage payment of workers’ salaries and the dilapidated infrastructural development in the public hospitals.
Aside from this, the current situation in the health sector has continued to force medical practitioners in Ondo to leave the government-owned hospital in droves, especially due to non-payment of salaries, medical allowances to health officers and arrears.
Speaking further, Mr Jegede lamented that the people of Ondo could no longer enjoy the basic and social amenities they received in the past administration of the PDP.
He said the free shuttle buses for pupils, free health care in public hospitals and good roads which were enjoyed by the residents had become comatose under Mr Akeredolu.
“Look at the very little fees being paid by students of a state-owned tertiary institution, it is now outrageous. The hospitals we have in Akure and Ondo, are they running very well? Go and look at it.
“On the road construction that everyone is talking about, when PDP was in power, Arakale road was turned to double carriageway, we rehabilitated Oba Adesida road,” Mr Jegede
He added, “When PDP was in power, street lights were installed everywhere. Now compare the two governments in that aspect.
“See, to construct roads is not difficult at all. The local government also rehabilitates, even individuals constructing roads. So all these roads they claim they construct is the normal thing a responsible government should do. How are they spending public funds? It is out of place celebrating the government for doing a normal thing it should do.”
Reacting to the criticisms, Mr Akeredolu said the attack on his administration by Mr Jegede had exposed his hypocrisy under the guise of politics.
The governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, said his administration had performed better, especially in the areas of road construction.
“His (Jegede) puerile submission that Ondo State is worst under Governor Akeredolu’s government can only come from a place of bitterness and self-imposed ignorance.
“For the records, the Akeredolu administration has completed 274.11km of roads across the 18 Local Government Areas of the State while 120km are ongoing across the three senatorial districts,” he told The Gazette in a swift reaction.
The governor added, “Jegede’s allusion to Akure as the basis for his assessment of the Akeredolu’s administration exposed his hypocrisy and gross ignorance.
“In Akure alone, no government can boast to have done more than the Akeredolu administration. Aside from the dualization of the Oba-Osupa/NEPA road to Olukayode-roundabout, down to Ijoka, Governor Akeredolu has intervened in many areas.
“Mr Eyitayo Jegede should visit Gaga, Oke-Ogba, Abusoro, Iwalewa, Orita-Obele, Oda road, SUBEB road, Araromi, Alagbaka-SIB road, and other major roads already constructed by Governor Akeredolu in Akure, the state capital.”
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