By Remigius Akinbinu\
The official commissioning today of the 27.5 kilometer Ajagba-Iyansan road in Ondo South senatorial district by Dr. Olusegun Mimiko is another confirmation of the fact that the Governor has good intention to ensure that the people of the state enjoy good roads.
It is indeed a further confirmation that the longest serving Governor in the state’s 40- year-checkered history has succeeded in distinguishing himself in every area or sector of governmental development.
Noteworthy also, is the fact that in the past six months, despite the depreciation in the state’s earnings, the governor has constructed and repaired more roads than ever before. And this cuts across the three senatorial zones of the state.
This was easily achieved by reason of the Governor’s result-oriented decision to turn around the Ondo State Asphalt Company,(OSAC) which he re-engineered into a cost-effective, direct-labour enterprise with less-bureaucracy thereby ensuring quick completion and quality delivery of road projects across the state.
Governor Mimiko, who also emerged the first Governor of the state to dualise roads outside Akure, the state capital has increased the number of dual carriage ways in the state from two to ten in the past seven years and the number is expected to rise by the end of May when such roads as the Oba-Ile /Airport road, Akure road, Ondo and the Igbokoda township road might have been completed as scheduled.
Beside the Ajagba-Iyansan road, the Governor also completed the 22.7 kilometre Ugbe-Iboropa-Ise road in the northern zone.
Also, the long abandoned Arigidi-Ikaram-Ajowa boundary road in Akoko land also received deserved attention and is about 90% completed as I pen this piece.
Not only was the road repaired, it was reconstructed to the joy of inhabitants of the many towns that border the road which terminates at the Kogi State boundary end.
The government has also rehabilitated the Ilutitun-Omotosho- Irele township, Irele-Igbobini Ilu-Agbo, Okitipupa-Ikoya-Igbotako and Araromi Obu-Oniparaga roads all in the Southern Senatorial District.
Mimiko has thus set the pace for whoever takes over from him in 2017. Such a successor would meet some very big shoes to step into as Mimiko has set very high standards in several areas of the state’s socio-political and economic sectors.
Super Eagles exit from AFCON 2017!
Penultimate night in far away Cairo, Egypt, the elimination of Nigeria’s national football team, the Super Eagles from the 21st edition of the African Cup of Nations to be held in Equatorial Guinea early next year was confirmed after the Nigerian side lost by a lone goal to their Egyptian counterparts.
It was another sad occasion for Nigerian football as this will be the second time in succession that we shall be missing out from the bi-annual CAF tournament. It is unprecedented since 1976 when Nigeria started participating.
How did we get it wrong yet again?
To me, we failed the moment we were unable to beat the Egyptians in Kaduna last Friday because I knew it was always going to he an uphill task beating the North Africans at their backyard.
The Eagles did play well and were very close to getting an equalizer in the dying minutes of the match when West Ham striker Victor Moses hit the upright but since ‘nearly’ won’t kill a bird, the Egyptians were home and dry.
Unlike before when the blame for such ouster will first go to the chief coach I doubt very much if any sane being could blame coach Samson Siasia for the ill fate that befell the Eagles.
Sia sia who was only drafted to handle the team for the rest of the qualifiers after the inglorious and unexpected resignation of the inexperienced Sunday Oliseh should even be applauded for doing reasonably well given the short time he had to prepare.
As for me, I will blame the failure on the NFF’s black-market employment of an inexperienced and immature Sunday Oliseh as the coach in the first instance.
In an article published in this column last year titled ‘OLISEH; NFF’s BLACK MARKET’ I wrote;
“Although some veterans of the game like Segun Odegbami, Christian Chukwu and Adokiye Amaeziemeka have tipped Oliseh to succeed in this task, I still believe he’s an unproven quantity who need much hardwork, prayers and support to succeed in this most arduous task of bringing the Super Eagles back to their glory days.”
Oliseh’s appointment turned out to be a gamble that failed woefully, hence this disastrous consequence.
Sunshine Stars back to winning ways
It has been a period of disappointment for the teeming fans of the Ondo state flagship football club, Sunshine Stars since the beginning of the 2016 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) season as their darling team failed to pick up a win after seven rounds of action in the top flight.
For the fans who were accustomed to seeing the team winning most of their home matches, it was considered as a bad omen for the Stars to have picked just two meagre points from their first two home matches while also losing four away matches in a row.
It was thus a heartwarming occasion last Sunday at the Akure Sports stadium when the Owena Waves recovered their winning formula by defeating Shooting Stars FC from Ibadan by two goals to one.
The victory coming after the drawn away match at Rivers United has given the fans hope that the Stars’ season is back on track.
No doubt, if the club keeps on achieving such good results henceforth, winning the league or at least grabbing a continental ticket this season could still be within their reach.
As a strong supporter of the club, I’m using this medium to urge the players and the John Ola Mafo-led management not to rest on their oars and begin to stake a claim to the NPFL title from now on. The sky is still the limit.