…appeals to residents, commuters to remain calm
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has directed the reconstruction of the old Benin-Agbor Road.
This is as the State Government commenced the palliative work on the failed portions of the Federal Government Benin-Agbor Road in Ikpoba/Okha Local Government Area of the State, and others to ameliorate the sufferings of motorists and other road users who ply the road.
Obaseki, who inspected the ongoing palliative work being undertaken by the State Government, following the refusal of the Federal Government to attend to the road and other failed federal government roads across the State, lamented the poor condition of the road and the hardship imposed on the people due to the poor state of the roads.
Pained by the outcry and pleadings of the residents and commuters, who trooped out in their numbers to welcome the governor and his entourage, Obaseki immediately directed the reconstruction of the old Benin-Agbor Road as a last-ditch effort by the State Government to end the sufferings of the people and commuters using the failed road.
He ordered the Commissioner of Roads and Bridges, Engr. Ethan Uzamare, who was part of the inspection team, to immediately mobilise contractors to the site.
Filled with joy and relief by the directive of the governor, the excited crowd commended and sang his praises for heeding their cries and pleas to end their sufferings and pains as a result of the hardship they go through daily commuting on the bad road.
He said, “I know that you people have been suffering for more than three months now. Your markets have gone down and you cannot even get to your homes. I want to thank the youths for what you have been doing, and for maintaining order. Despite the suffering, you people have been peaceful. I want to thank you. The situation you have here today is beyond the state Government. This is a palliative work we are doing, it is remedial action and we have to go and look for money to do it so that we can ease the suffering.
“This road as you know is not our road. It’s a Federal Road and the Federal Government has sold this road to somebody. They said they did a concession many years ago, about three years ago. So, they will not allow us to touch it. This one we are doing is by force because they know they cannot stop you and us but they are not going to refund us one kobo and we are not even going to worry asking them to refund us.”
Obaseki added, “The permanent solution is, because this road is not our own and the Federal Government has refused to fix this road, we will now go and construct the old road which is ours.
“So, we will start the reconstruction of the old road this dry season and as usual we will put up barricades. No trailer or truck will follow the road. If the federal government likes, let them not do this road. The minister is from the South East and this is the main road to the South East. So, if he doesn’t want his people to go for Christmas, he is on his own. We will look for a way to get to our homes.
“Please continue to be law-abiding; we will work for you, don’t worry. With what is going on in Abuja, they don’t care about us but we will care for you. Please continue to be peaceful. We will do all we can to make sure this road is opened in the next two weeks,” he noted.
On the governor’s entourage were members of the State Executive Council alongside other government functionaries. Present at the site was the leader of the Ikpoba/Okha Community, Ohen Iyeware Asenogwan Eghareva, with some of the youth leaders, market women, and residents.