July 21, 2024

Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi Road: Obaseki, Ministers, Senators, HOR, EDHA Members are Guilty of Burying their Heads in the Sand

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By Aliyu Momodu, Uyi Uhunoma and Blessing Oboh

Ekpoma along Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi Road, Edo State, Nigeria

For deliberately refusing to accept the truth about the Benin-Ekpoma-Road before it detorerated to death trap, and for failing to think about the negative impact on the Local Economic Development of Edo State citizens that rely on the motorway for their economic survival, even though they had influence to prevent the situation, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and all the Ministers, Senators, Federal House of Representatives and Members of Edo State House of Assembly (past and present) – especially those elected in Edo North and Central, should all hide their heads in shameful sands.

These men and women who benefited from the corrupt electoral process but failed to atone with responsiveness, must face facts now. Edo people should hold them responsible for neglecting and ignoring roads in their state, especially the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi motorway.

Bob Majirioghene Etemiku succinctly described the road about a year ago in one of his features published in the Independent newspaper. He described the road as ‘hell.’

“If you do not want to experience some hell on earth, you will be advised to avoid the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi Road in Edo State. This road is not in the heavenlies or underground where sinners suffer and are tormented till eternity.

“This one hell is right here on earth, and in Edo State Nigeria. You will not be dead to experience it but your chances of dying on the Benin-Auchi-Ekpoma Road is very high.

“If you have been a sinner, sorry for you, and that’s because plying that road is the very first glimpse you are to have of how hell really looks like,” Etemiku wrote.

A major show piece of any government is the quality of roads in and out of their cities and communities.

Therefore, found roads are social infrastructures that reasonable governments put in place as a showpiece of their investment in the social capital of their states.

Ordinarily, politicians, especially those in the northern part of Nigeria, consider the construction and maintenance of roads leading to their communities as one of the indicators of their success as governors or elected public officers. 

Obaseki has left the road to dwindle and deteriorate because of his hard-line position that the road is a ‘federal road’, and therefore it cannot be fixed by the Edo State Government. 

His decision to allow the road wash away, is to deliberately refuse to accept the truth that the unpleasant state has caused the people of Edo Central and Edo North so much pain.

The first rains have worsen the already silly condition of the road, so much so that, Ukpenu Junction in Ekpoma has become a canal, capable of swallowing an SUV.

All the big time politicians, senators, ministers, federal and state legislators folded their hands akimbo when Obaseki engaged the Federal Government in war of words and now Edo people are directly affected by the dilapidated road in the midst of claim of excellent performance by the state government.

All the politicians that have campaigned and were voted for to serve and represent Esan, Etsako and Afemai people have all failed. This is the time to question their stewardship.

Since 2016 when Obaseki was took over power, the State have had Six Senators; Eighteen House of Representatives members and 48 State Assembly members that cut across the three senatorial districts and whose responsibility is to represent the people of Edo State, but the results on ground is a reflection of their abysmal falure.

Shamelessly, the people of Ekpoma and environs have now resorted to open appeal to ‘private individual and international bodies’ to save them from ecological disaster.

“We are using this opportunity to appeal to private individual and international bodies to assist us.” Airemen Monday Ezekiel who posted a harrowing video on the internet is pleading on behalf of Esan people.

According to him, the plea is ‘a cry for help. However, the Ekpoma disaster is not the only set back to Edo State economical growth. Yet, Edo State Government led by Governor Obaseki has given itself a pass mark in terms of GDP growth.

“We have made considerable progress as we have laid the basis for economic growth and development in Edo State and Nigeria.” Obaseki was quoted as saying.

“As I wind down as governor, I am leaving a strong State economically; agricultural production has been ramped up significantly…

“Seven years after, we are ranked as one of the top States in terms of GDP growth in Nigeria.” These claims by Obaseki amounts to insensitivity to the plights of all those that have received the short-end of his almost eight years deal.

Read Also: Gov Obaseki’s Scorecard: Edo People Feel Failed By The Healthcare System

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