Michael Gabriel, Port Harcourt
Ijaw youths have expressed anger at the poor condition of the Bayelsa State axis of the East-West road and have given the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, a seven-day ultimatum to fix the road.
The youths expressed their angst following weeklong gridlocks that held drivers and commuters for hours at the failed portions of the road.
The Chairman of IYC Transition and Implementation Committee, Kennedy Olorogun, said the youths would no longer tolerate the dilapidated nature of the road, saying many portions of the expressway had collapsed completely.
“We are going to take over the road after the ultimatum given to the minister of Niger Delta “, he said, adding that the stretch of the road from Kaiama in Kolokuma-Opokuma to Mbiama, a border community between Rivers State and Bayelsa, remained impassable.
Olorogun asked Akpabio to redirect his energy from the Niger Delta Development Commission crisis to fixing the road.
He wondered why the minister abandoned the problems of the East-West road and other challenges in the region to focus only on NDDC.
He said, “Traveling from Bayelsa to Port Harcourt has become a nightmare. Moving to Warri in Delta State is a death trap. The East-West road has totally collapsed. Drivers and commuters are stranded on the Bayelsa and Rivers axis of the road.
“We are talking about Rivers and Bayelsa where chunk of our resources come from. Yet the East-West road leading to these two states are only receiving lip service from the Federal Government and the Niger Delta minister.
“Our vehicles are collapsing on that road and we will no longer tolerate this delay in fixing it. We are asking Akpabio to deemphasis in the NDDC matter and lead a campaign to fix our road.
“We are giving him a seven-day ultimatum to fix the road or we take over the road and ensure nobody passes through it including government officials.”