Former Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun on Wednesday replied Governor Dapo Abiodun over allegation of culpability in the loss of the multi-billion Dangote Refinery to Lagos State.
Abiodun on Tuesday accused Amosun of scuttling Ogun’s chance of hosting the $19bn project due to a disagreement between him and the business mogul, Aliko Dangote.
Daily Trust had reported how inauguration of the multi-billion dollar refinery on Monday sparked fresh controversy in Ogun State.
The monumental investment was to be sited in Ogun State before it was moved to its present location in the neighbouring Lagos State.
Shortly after the inauguration of the project on Monday, some stakeholders in Ogun rued loss of the project to Lagos State.
Segun Showunmi, former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2023 election, blamed the loss on “bad politics.”
He called for a law “that punishes economic sabotage occasioned by bad politics.”
In his reaction, Abiodun said he was not responsible for the loss of Dangote Refinery to Lagos.
He said it was a disagreement between Amosun and Dangote that cost Ogun to lose the project to Lagos.
Our correspondent reports that Abiodun was the Chairman of the Committee on the Olokola Free Trade Zone projects at the period when the refinery project was moved to Lagos.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Abiodun admitted serving as the chairman of the committee, but said he “did everything possible to make sure the project saw the light of the day.”
He said, “The then governor, perhaps, having a personal axe to grind with the promoter of the refinery project, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, frustrated all the efforts of Governor Abiodun and his committee.”
But Amosun on Wednesday fired back at his successor and challenged him to state facts on the loss of the project when he (Abiodun) served as the Chairman of the Committee on the Olokola Free Trade Zone projects.
Amosun’s reaction was contained in a statement signed by his media aide, Bola Adeyemi, and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta.
The Senator representing Ogun Central said one of the major reasons that made Ogun to lose the project was his administration’s insistence “that, about 500 hectares must be set aside and protected for the benefit of our people in Ogun East, and in particular, the host community, Ogun Waterside.”
Amosun said when “lies and half truths are churned out so repeatedly and unashamedly, without being challenged, the innocent public may begin to reckon with such concoctions as the gospel truth.”
He said his lastest position would be his final word on Dangote refinery relocation controversy.
He “It is, therefore, interesting to read that the present Ogun State governor holds me responsible for allegedly scuttling the Olokola project. For the benefit of the good people of Ogun State, Nigerians and posterity, we challenge him, particularly as he was then the chairman appointed to oversee and ensure that the project was sited in Olokola Free Trade Zone, to disclose with facts, where he or the administration was remis, and which might have led to the project being moved away from Ogun State.
“The only thing I can recall that the government insisted on, was that, about 500 hectares must be set aside and protected for the benefit of our people in Ogun East, and in particular, the host community, Ogun Waterside.
“As Governor, I would never have knowingly let any opportunity slip past Ogun State and its people. I did my best to the satisfaction and conviction of my conscience.
“As I conclude, it is my hope that this intervention will give clarity to the vexed subject of the Olokola Free Trade Zone and the relocation of the Dangote Refinery controversy.”
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