Fix East-West road now – Ogoni group warns FG
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola was recently given a 14 days ultimatum to fix the deplorable Eleme East-West road in South South Rivers State.
The demand to fix the road was given by a group known as the Ogoni Liberation Initiative (OLI), notable for its humanitarian services and a voice speaking for the Ogoni youths empowerment.
Speaking to Journalists in Abuja on Thursday, after submitting a letter of demand addressed to the Minister of Works, Tunde Fashola, at the Ministry, leader of the Group, Dr. Fabeke Douglas, said this will be the second letter submitted to the Ministry detailing the Minister on the deplorable condition of the road which has killed many Nigerians playing the road.
He noted that nothing has been done on the road after the first letter was written, a neglect which has necessitated issuing a second letter to the Ministry calling on them to act or a total shutdown of the road will be enforced through a massive protest.
“We have given the Ministry 14 days ultimatum to fix the Eleme East-West road or we will shut it down through a protest”, Fabeke who is also contesting for Senate under the Labour Party, to represent Rivers South East at the National Assembly said.
According to him: “The deplorable condition of the Eleme East-West road has been a major concern for the residents of the area and commuters. Everyday, we experience cases of accidents leading to the loss of innocent lives and properties worth millions of Naira.
“The road has become a death trap for commuters as travellers are scared while using the road alongside heavy duty trucks that are passing from companies.
“The sections of the road measuring 15 kilometers from trailer park to Eleme junction with a connecting bridge is one of the busiest segment of the highway, resulting in the consistent haulage of goods from the Onne seaport, the Port Harcourt Refinery, the Indorama Petrochemical, the Oil and Gas free trade zone among others.
“The road is connecting eight Local Government Areas such as Khana, Gokana, Tai, Eleme, Andoni, Opobe/Nkoro, Okrika and Oyigbo Local Government Areas as well as Akwa Ibom and Cross River States to Port Harcourt.”
“The road also serves over 200 Multinational companies such as the Indorama Petrochemical and Fertilizer Company, Intels Nigeria Ltd, Nigeria Port Authority, Port Harcourt Refinery, and many others.
“The Nigerian Government has promised several times to fix the road but the people are yet to see any sign of construction work, this is very sad and unfortunate considering the billions of Naira the Government generates from the companies using the road”, he said.
Our correspondent reports that in July last year, the Ogoni people blocked the road for seven days, calling on the Nigerian government to immediately reconstruct the road.
In reaction, the Nigerian government said it released N2.5b to construct the road but the Community insisted that nothing was done on the road.
Fabeke continued: “We call on the Nigerian Government to immediately within the next seven days begin the reconstruction of the road and remodeling the existing Aleto bridge which is near collapsing.
“Failure to do so, the Ogoni people will mobilise again and shut down all forms of transportation and economic activities on the road”, he said.