Bankole Fights Daniel Over Ota Bridge

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Bankole Fights Daniel Over Ota Bridge

Post  nex on Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:20 am

The disagreement between the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, and Ogun State governor, Gbenga Daniel, led to a public brawl yesterday during the commissioning of the overhead bridge constructed by the federal government at Ota, Ogun State.

The programme had kicked off before the arrival of the Speaker, and Mr Daniel, who came with a large entourage, has spend some time delivering a speech which was largely disparaging to the speaker. The Minister of Works, Sanusi Daggash and his minister of state, Osa Ogiemwonyi were both at the occasion although the town’s most famous resident and former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, did not show up at the event.

Mr Daniel quickly cut short his speech when an aide told him that Mr Bankole had finally arrived at the venue.

In his speech, the governor had made allusions to the speaker’s alleged quest for cheap glory and dabbling in the state’s affairs, instead of striving to get the best out of his office in the few months remaining for his tenure to end.

The road project was started about ten years ago by the government of Mr Obasanjo, but it was abandoned half way and Mr Bankole had began the campaign to complete work, during a well-publicised visit to the town last year.

“Tell the Speaker, to stop claiming responsibility for the construction,” said Mr Daniel in his speech. “The project was started by the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ebora Owu, and we want to thank him. Tell my junior brother, the speaker that he should do something before his tenure lapsed, we all have less than few months to leave office,” he said.

Hurried commissioning

As Mr Bankole arrived the venue, a loud ovation was heard from his supporters but before he could even come down from his car, the governor hurriedly concluded his speech and headed straight to cut the tape of the commissioning.

Apparently sensing mischief, the Speaker moved to the tape cutting spot, but he was obstructed by one of the security aides to Mr Daniel. Mr Bankole pushed him aside and hurried towards the dais. But before he reached there, Mr Daggash, in company of the governor, moved quickly to cut the tape for the commissioning.

As this drama unfolded, the atmosphere became tense as security aides to both parties began waving their guns dangerously, creating more disorder. The charged atmosphere forced many people to run for safety and avoid any harm which might result from the fracas.

Among those who fled for their lives was the traditional ruler of Ota town, Alani Oloyede. The royal father had to tuck in his flowing gown, or agbada, as he fled the scene in the midst of his chiefs.

As the speaker moved to confront the governor, Mr Daniel and the ministers were hurriedly led into the official bus by their aides. Mr Bankole headed straight for the white coaster bus and ordered an aide to call the minister, Mr Daggash. The aide returned moments later to say the minister wouldn’t come out because he was speaking with the governor.

Shouting bout

In annoyance, Mr Bankole forced his way into the bus where he engaged in a shouting bout with Mr Daniel. The tainted glasses of the bus prevented onlookers from getting a clear view, but Mr Bankole could be seen ordering the driver of the bus not to move an inch. Noises were also heard from the bus for the 3-4 minutes the speaker was in the bus. As soon as he came out, the governor and his crew immediately left.

Mr Bankole was however loudly praised and hailed by indigenes of Ota, who were also seen throwing objects at the governor’s bus and booing him.

Mr Daggash, in his speech, said the third phase of the project would commence in the next two months, to pave way for the completion of the project.

“In the next two months, the third project will start. The next phase would not be delayed like the second phase. This is important for the benefits of all Nigerians passing through this road.”
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nex

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