…demands work starts from Bayelsa axis
The Ijaw Forward Movement has commended the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari for approving about N20billion for the completion of the East-West Road project.
But the group appealed to the government to direct the contractor in charge of the road to first fix the Bayelsa State axis of the road to ease movement and facilitate business activities.
IFM Director-General, Mr. Alfred Kemepado, who spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said pending the reconstruction of the road, the contractor should create reliefs for drivers and commuters, lamenting the dilapidated condition of the entire stretch of the Bayelsa axis.
Kemepado, who is the immediate past Secretary-General, Ijaw Youths Council Worldwide, said investigations by members of his group showed that the Bayelsa axis had failed completely.
He said the road had become a nightmare for drivers and commuters, who spent days on gridlock trying to navigate many of the failed portions.
Kemepado said, “It is a nightmare. The Bayelsa axis was abandoned when the construction of that road peaked. The contractors worked on the Delta State axis of the road and stopped at Kaiama. From Kaiama to Mbiama, the border community between Rivers and Bayelsa, was abandoned by the contractor.
“It was manageable before but now it is no longer passable. From Kaiama, to Kolokuma-Opokuma junction all through the Zarama junction is a death trap. Zarama is the worst. In fact, there is no road. All we have are stretches of craters and gullies. Trailers and trucks are collapsing there causing gridlock and loss of man hours.”
While commending Buhari, he said the Federal Government appointees from the Niger Delta were chasing shadows and running after their selfish projects while neglecting the most important road in the area.
He said, “We are commending President Muhammadu Buhari for approving funds for the reconstruction of the road. We are, however, asking him to direct the contractor to start from the Bayelsa axis.
“The contractor should first create a passage for vehicles and commuters at the Bayelsa axis. We are not happy that the Bayelsa part of the road was allowed to completely fail before this intervention.
“We are always at the receiving end in this country. Bayelsa is one of the most resourceful states in the Niger Delta contributing chunk of the resources used in running this country. It is inconceivable that there is officially no road to get to Bayelsa.
“The state can only be accessed through the East-West road and if the state’s axis of the road is allowed to fail without any foreseeable interventions from the federal government, it confirms the narrative that we are not important to the federal government.”