By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
The beneficiaries of the free train service provided by the Osun State Government on Friday lauded the Administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola for saving them from possible road mishaps.
The Easter holidaymakers said the continued provision of free train services during festivities have gone a long way in creating a sense of belonging for citizens and helping them to feel the direct impact of democratic dividends.
The travelers also applauded the security measures put in place by the government to ensure safety for all, describing the hitch-free trip from Lagos as the government’s unwavering commitment to the security of lives and property.
This is even as the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Dr. Bode Olaonipekun, said the government was resolute to continue to do the needful to support the citizens’ needs.
The State government under the leadership of Governor Oyetola has been providing free train services for citizens living outside the State every festive period since the assumption of office.
The scheme which is a product of continuity has come to stay with thousands benefitting from the scheme since its inception.
Some of the beneficiaries of the scheme while addressing journalists after their arrival at railway terminus, Osogbo, expressed delight at the smooth and hitch-free journey from Lagos.
One of the travellers, Mrs. Sobande Mercy, who joined the train from Abeokuta, Ogun State, said the government’s gesture had saved her from avoidable stress she would have experienced taking the commercial bus.
Mercy who applauded the scheme, particularly the adequate security provided by the government, said, “My trip to Osogbo has been very wonderful, adventurous and remarkable.”
She added: “This is my first trip on a train. But I can tell you that I really enjoyed my trip. How I wish I had similar opportunity to be traveling like this always.
“I joined the train in Ogun State when I was informed by a friend that Osun free train would be coming, and the trip was good to Osogbo. We experienced the best comfort as every passenger was seated comfortably well without any form of inconvenience.
“I can only appreciate the government for this laudable initiative, which has given us sense of belonging as citizens and as residents because this gesture alone has saved us from so many things.”
Also, Mr. Muyiwa Akanni and Mrs. Ronke Oyelowo, eulogised the good gesture and showered blessings on the government for responding to the citizens’ needs, particularly for meeting them at the points of their needs.
Oyelowo said: “I am very happy to have benefitted from this free train service. This is the third time I have benefitted from it. I thank our government for sustaining it. It is a testimony to the fact that they mean well for us.
“Though this is not my first time of benefitting from this, since I have been traveling with train, I have never enjoyed my trip like this one simply because of the quality of the train itself and the accompanying decorum occasioned by the security personnel attached to the train.
“I am happy that my state is doing this every festive period, and I pray that God will continue to be with our Governor and his government as he continues to paddle the canoe of this State.”
Addressing journalists, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Dr. Bode Olaonipekun, assured of the continuity of the scheme.
“The government has done it again as part of its commitment to make life easy for its people. As you all know, this government has been doing excellently well in taking the welfare and well-being of the citizens as a priority.
“We consider it a necessity to always support our people living outside the State who want to celebrate with their families and loved ones during festive seasons.
“As we have been doing in the past, we carried them from Lagos this morning and here they are safely. I thank God and I thank Mr. Governor for his focus and vision to ensure that no citizen suffers.
“My advice for those that have benefitted from this scheme is to continue to support the government in its efforts to turn the State around. I equally want to advise those that came with train today to continue to adhere strictly to the Coronavirus pandemic safety protocols, particularly if they want to return with it on Monday,” Olaonipekun added.
The Commissioner was accompanied by the members of the State civil service serving in the Ministry.