By Bayo Adeoye
It is no longer news that one of the most important roads in Nigeria is the ever busy Abuja- Lokoja dualized road network which was carefully planned to link the other parts of the country with the federal capital territory.
However, years after this project was awarded and commencement of work, it has been one calamity after another with the project that is meant to bring joy and succour to a state like Kogi State and inhabitants of the towns and villages on that route owing to the complete neglect of some portion of the road by successive governments.
Investigations revealed that some sections of the road, particularly sections, 2.3, and 4 have become the hottest spot of fatal accidents, kidnappings and various vices that have caused untold hardships to influential and pliable Nigerians.
The latest being the kidnapping of a customary court judge and killing of his orderly. “This is just one in the long list of ugly incidences on the route not forgetting it was also here that the former Labour minister, Ocholi, met his untimely death along with his family.
The chairman of the All Progressives Congress (kwara state) also tasted the horror on this route when he was kidnapped.
Information available to us indicate that thus trend might continue unless the contractors that are working on this sections (2,3,4.) are mobilised back to work as soon as possible.
The bad news however is that the hope of a permanent relief from the minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola to complete the three priority road projects in the country, (Abuja -Lokoja, Kano -Maiduguri, Lagos -Ibadan) might be dead on arrival as only one section of the critical Abuja -Lokoja road project was accommodated in the budget and this has now become a source of worry to Nigerians as people are now wondering as to why a project of such importance which should’ve been appropriated for is not in the budget.
People living in this area our sources revealed are now appealing to their representatives in the National Assembly to take the matter up immediately and ensure the contractors are paid and negotiated with to go back to site.
We gathered that the contractors have not been paid for years despite the fact that they have their certificates for the jobs done.
“With the way things are it is only wise for the minister to do the needful in order to achieve the mileage of having found a permanent solution to one critical problem claiming the lives of both the low and the mighty of our society’’ A source said.