REMARKS AT THE FLAG-OFF OF THE RECONSTRUCTION OF OJA AKESAN, OYO TOWN

On January 8, 2020, when we visited Oja Akesan, Oyo Town to assess the damage caused by the shocking fire outbreak, I commiserated with traders who lost goods in the fire. I remember that I told them that I was taking full responsibility for the failure of the fire service to contain the fire. And that we would rebuild this market and compensate them for their loss.

We were able to provide our widow’s mite as a government to support the people who lost their livelihoods here and had to start again. We also replaced the fire truck at the Akesan Fire station. So, we can go to bed and sleep with our two eyes closed knowing that should there be a fire here or anywhere else around here, the fire service will have no excuse to prevent them from doing their job.

And so, we are here today to fulfill the second part of that promise, to officially flag off the rebuilding of Ojoba. Our people say, “Ile oba t’o jo, ewa lo busi.” In a literal way, Ojoba was razed but it will be raised to be of greater glory than it was before. That is why we have taken time to redesign the market.

You must already know that this market had been in existence for 400 years and no one in recent history could have anticipated that something like this would happen. What that means is that no one even planned for a fire. So, one of the things we are doing now is to put things in place to make sure that should there be a fire in the future it will not be as devastating as this last one was.

The reconstruction will cost N770 Million and the stores will be allocated to the original owners. The first phase of reconstruction will take six months and the second phase will take two months. The contractors, Mortayus Nigeria Limited, from Oyo Town, have assured us that in less than one year the market will be complete and ready and we pray that we never experience anything like the January 5th fire ever again.

So, with your permission, I now flag off the reconstruction of the Oja Akesan, here in Oyo Town, to the Glory of God and the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.

` Governor Seyi Makinde, August 12, 2020

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