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The political atmosphere of Ogun state was set on fire with the issue of location of the first cargo airport in the state.The step which had received many praises from the people,also raised issues of location,the naming of the project,and who takes the glory.
It is important to examined the purpose and benefits of the project, though the dream of having an airport in Ogun state was far back during the administration of Chief Olusegun Osoba.
The governor,His Excellency Prince Dapo Abiodun Mfr. made a case to continue with the plan for the construction of an AGRO-CARGO airport in the state.
He said it while receiving the Senate Committee on Aviation, led by Senator Smart Adeyemi, at the Exco Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan , Abeokuta.
The governor said that the agro-cargo airport project, conceptualized by the Gbenga Daniel administration in 2007, has lots of potentials in the overall development of the state in particular and the country in general.
According to him, the decision to continue with the agro- airport project, located in Ilishan-Remo in Ogun East Senatorial District, was made by the state’s joint inter-ministerial committee, which evaluated and placed priority on it as against the Ewekoro passenger airport.
The State Commissioner for Finance, who doubles as Economic Adviser to the governor, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, in a presentation described the project as a viable one which according to him would unlock significant value addition opportunities across agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
In less than 24hrs,his predecessor,Senator Ibikunle AMOSUN led the same team to the site of the Ewekoro airport on Saturday alongside his media team.
Senator AMOSUN made it known that work had started at the site of the airport,as he debunked claim that the area would not be suitable for the purpose.
Daily Post reported that While expressing optimism that the Wasinmi airport will be completed, Amosun opined that there is nothing wrong if the state can have many airports.
“For me, if it is possible for us to have ten airports, so be it. I am happy with it. By the benevolence of the Almighty God, this airport will see the light of the day. And you can see, pictures don’t lie. Zoom your camera and see, runways already established.
“This is not just a game; it is the result of hard work and the support we are getting from the Federal Government. This is a Federal Government project and I’m sure FG doesn’t want to waste its money. They wouldn’t be appropriating for a project they don’t want to finish,” Amosun affirmed.
Contrary to Gov Abiodun’s claim that the project was not approved by government, Senator Adeyemi stated that “this project is known to us, nobody can say the National Assembly does not know about Wasinmi airport.”
Adeyemi clarified that, “It (the project) is what I inherited; and I saw over the years that it has been occurring on the Federal Government budget for this airport to be constructed. Maybe what was appropriated in the past years was not enough.
“We are equally aware there’s another one the state government is working on, which we visited yesterday (Friday). Ours is to go back and sit down with the Minister of Aviation to discuss what we have seen and what we think should be the way forward.
A group,Iperu Youth Development Association stood against the government decision on the naming of the airport,as it should be Iperu not Ilisan.
In a statement e-signed by the chairman of the group,Comrade Azeez Akinbowale said the land acquired for the project belong to Orubo Community Area in Iperu.
“This a big blow on our faces, after we have sacrificed all our land towards this developmental project to our dearest state now credited to a community that doesn’t have up to 15% of land acquired for the project.
Iperu community owns almost all the land. The status-quo should be reversed with immediate effect, thus the Gateway Cargo Airport Ilishan, should rather be addressed as Gateway Cargo Airport Iperu. The major quantum of land belongs to Iperu community. “
In all the assertion, supremacy and senatorial interest stand out from all the argument, even as no doubt the project will bring tremendous development into the state.
To be objective,it will be difficult to criticize any of the players,but time will put the various achievements in the right perspective.