The Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN, Oyo State Chapter has condemned the tens of shops, stalls and property worth millions of Naira belonging to the poor working people for the bus terminal projects.
This is coming as Governor Seyi Makinde-led government approved contract for the construction of four ultra-modern bus terminals in four different locations in the city of Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital.
According to the media report, the contract for the construction of the four ultra-modern bus terminals which are to be sited at Iwo road, Challenge, New Ife Road and Ojo area of Ibadan was approved at a meeting of the State Executive council held in Ibadan on Tuesday, 5th May, 2020.
The party, in a statement issued on Thursday, by its Secretary, Ayodeji Adigun, said three days before the approval of this contract, tens of shops, stalls and property worth millions of Naira belonging to the poor working people were demolished in Iwo road area under the supervision of armed thugs and without prior provision of alternative arrangements or even payment compensation to the affected owners.
“Obviously, these destructions were done in preparation for the bus terminal project prior to its approval on the above stated date.
“SPN acknowledges that the construction of bus terminals particularly with features like restaurant, shops, café and ATM gallery is very important to a standard mass public transport system program. As a matter of fact, it is even long overdue for such development in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital as well as other cities like Oyo, Ogbomosho, Saki among others across the State. This is because aside the fact that it will help to beautify the State, it also has the potential to help alleviate the various cases of security challenges that characterise our bus stops owing to the chaotic manner they are currently set across the State.
“However, SPN condemns in its entirety the demolition of shops and property worth millions of naira belonging to poor traders in Iwo road who are still struggling to survive in the midst of the current crisis of COVID-19 pandemic in the State especially when there was no prior provision of alternative means of livelihood or even compensation. We hereby demand immediate and adequate compensation for all the victims of this inhuman and wicked action
“We of the Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN Oyo State Chapter, equally condemn the use of contract system for the execution of this project and the way and manner the Engr Seyi Makinde led Government announced the contract approval without a public declaration of the exact contract sum involved. This kind of secretive approach to public projects is worrisome as it gives room to corrupt and sharp practices which include but not limited to undue figure manipulations. It also raises a huge suspicion that the fundamental motive behind the approval of this contract is not actually to serve the working and the poor masses of people in Oyo State but primarily for the self-serving interest of the pro-capitalist politicians and their acolytes who usually masquerade as contractors.
“It is highly instructive to remind the public that recently it was alleged in a report that there was a mysterious deployment of some Directors and their Deputies from the Ministry of works to the Ministry of Agriculture due to contract sum discrepancies between Governor Seyi Makinde and these Directors and their Deputies. It must be recalled that the reason reported for this deployment was either because these Directors slashed to N450million the N5billion Engr Seyi Makinde-led government allegedly proposed for the construction of each of the three motor parks proposed to be built in three different locations in Ibadan or because of the N65 million contract sum submitted by these Director and their deputies against the N24million submitted by an independent contractor on the same contract to repair the road leading to the infectious Disease Centre at Olodo.
“To us in the SPN, the above example is just a glimpse of how the pro-capitalist politicians connive with their acolytes who often masquerade as contractors or appointed permanent secretaries, Directors and Deputies directors who preside over the affairs of Ministries, Departments and Parastatals in order to ensure that public funds are always utilised primarily for their self-serving interest and looting under the pretense of encouraging infrastructural development.
“It is in the recognition of this background, that we of the SPN hereby challenge Engr Seyi Makinde-led government to openly declare the exact amount that will be required to execute the construction of each of the four bus terminals while we insist that the modality for the execution of the project must be through a public work programme by Ministry of works that is equipped with adequate machineries and man power and under a democratic control of elected representatives of the rank and file of workers in the Ministry and the working people in the various communities where this project is proposed to be sited.
“Given the pro-capitalist orientation of Engr Seyi makinde-led government, we are not under any illusion that the regime will embrace this approach. This is because only a pro-working people government formed on the basis of socialist program that can guarantee an approach whereby the resources of the State will be openly and transparently used for the benefit of workers and the poor.”
The party, therefore, called on workers, youths and mass of the poor people across the State to join it to build a socialist government in Oyo State and Nigeria at large.