By Dipo Olowookere
Governor Ibikunle Amosun-led government of Ogun State on Tuesday demolished a health facility at Obada area of Ijebu-Igbo in Ijebu North Local Government Area of state said to be illegally undergoing renovation through the effort of Senator Buruji Kashamu, representing Ogun East Senatorial District at the National Assembly.
It was reported that the facility was being renovated without duly approval from the state government, which hitherto, formed the reason behind the demolition carried out in the presence of the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Babatunde Ipaye and the council boss, Mr Adebayo Adekoya.
Mr Adekoya, who spoke with journalists, said the lawmaker failed to follow due process before embarking on the project, while alleging that the contractor handling the project chased out staff of the hospital and patients, as well as throwing out medical equipment.
“About two weeks ago, there was a signboard that was erected around the health centre and it was reported to me and I said, no problem if anyone wants to put up any building they will inform us.
“But to our surprise on Friday, immediately after the closing hours, they started pulling down the health centre without notification.
“When they reported to me I was not around thinking that letter for approval might be on the way but I never saw any notice or letter, only to discover that they had already began reconstruction on the facility.
“There is no harm in doing a constituency project but the structure in question is under my jurisdiction (Obada health centre).
“This is not done anywhere, so the commissioner asked for approval from the town planner and they said no approval for such development and that was when the structure was demolished by the town planners,” the Commissioner said.
Asked to comment on allegation that the facility was in bad state, Mr Adekoya denied such claim saying the health centre is a pioneer health facility in the council area.
The council boss said, “It a lie that we abandoned the facility, because that is our pioneer health centre. Everything there is in good condition. We have a solar machine there, the place is not abandoned for anything.”
Reacting, Mr Austin Oniyokor, media aide to Mr Kashamu, described the development as a rude shock, condemning the act in its entirety.
He said, “Information at our disposal revealed that Mr Ipaye and Mr Adekoya led some thugs and Mobile policemen to the facility, which is being renovated and refurbished by the Senator representing Ogun East Senator District as part of his constituency projects, and ordered them to demolish it because they were allegedly not ‘carried along.’
“We condemn this act in its entirety because we think that the APC-led state and local government officials should have put the interest of the people beyond and above any other consideration.
“We did not encroach on the property or vandalise anything as being erroneously spread by agents of the APC-led government. We strongly believe that governance is more about the welfare of the people and not procedures and interests, be it political or otherwise.
“Even if they said they already had plans to fix the facility, why pull it down because of some flimsy excuses? One would have expected them to either encourage anyone who takes the initiative to fix it or at least compete with him by building another and better facility and not to pull down the one being built, all in the name of politics. At the end of the day, it is the people that will bear the brunt of this executive lawlessness.”
Additional information from Tribune
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