With a waning popularity because of the yet-to-be-tackled socio-political and economic problems plaguing the Nigerian nation, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has continued to receive bashings from the citizens.
Prominent among the wave of criticisms are those from persons who never expressed optimism about the Muhammadu Buhari presidency from the onset.One of such skeptics is the National Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams who raised the alarm on the need for the Federal Government and the National Assembly to interact for the purpose of moving the country out of its current socio-political and economic doldrums.
Apart from expressing concern on the high rate of insecurity, galloping unemployment rate and epileptic state of electric power supply, Adams also lamented the poor state of federal roads in the country, pointing particularly to the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, which is considered as the busiest in the country.
He noted that the nature of politicking going on in respect of the expressway could be regarded as playing politics with Nigerians’ destiny. According to him, “The Federal Government should work with the National Assembly to ensure the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway immediately.”Adams, who lamented the lackadaisical attitude of some members of the executive and legislature to the urgency that should be attached to fixing this important road, said the lack of seriousness was a reflection of why things are not working in Nigeria.
Adams, who just returned from Sweden where he presided over the Third Summit of Oodua Progressives Union (OPU), said it was unfortunate that while leaders in other countries see infrastructure as an avenue of alleviating the suffering of the masses, “ours play politics with everything. In fact, the only thing they don’t play politics with is the air we breathe and that is because it is beyond their power.”
Describing the expressway as the major artery that carries the lifeblood of Nigeria’s economy, Adams said, “The fact that many administrations have not been able to fix this road is an embarrassment.
“This is a road that leads Lagos to the West, East and North. Completed in 1978 as a four-lane highway, it is the busiest highway in West Africa and one of the busiest in Africa. About 300,000 vehicles ply this road every day and it is a shame that successive administrations, including the APC, which promised everything before it assumed power, did not show signs of seriousness about fixing the road.”
Citing an example of what he saw in Sweden and other western countries, Adams said, “You cannot differentiate between the day and night because of the smoothness of their roads and effective lighting but reverse is the case in Nigeria.”
The OPC national coordinator noted that recently, the Power, Works and Housing Minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola raised the alarm on how the budget for the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway was cut “but instead of our lawmakers or the government to address the issue based on its importance to Nigerians, unfortunately and painfully too, they were playing politics with it. Hundreds of thousands of Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and other ethnic nationalities ply this road every day. So, the road is not for Yoruba but for Nigerians.
“Any serious government would have fixed the road a long time ago. This is 2017 and we are still playing politics with its reconstruction.”He lamented that the the two contractors, Julius Berger and Reynolds Construction Company (RCC), working on the road have threatened to quit due to delay in the payment of agreed contract fees on work already done. Adams wondered how we get to this level of apathy in matters bordering on development?
Said he, “We in the OPC are of the opinion that if some principal officers in the government are suffering from short-sightedness, millions of Nigerians can clearly see how the lack of seriousness in government is squeezing the economy and inflicting agony on businesses. The neglect of this road is an example in this regard.
“The apparent neglect of this road for decades is not without grave consequences. No serious country jokes with the welfare of its citizens. The reconstruction of this road should be a priority because of its importance to the economic growth of our country.”
He however called on the Acting President, Osinbajo, President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Fashola and other stakeholders’ to do the needful immediately, saying, “Enough of politicking and irresponsibility on the part of government officials. We demand that the road is fixed.”
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