East-West Road Was Designed to Fail, N’Delta Minister Alleges


Bassey Inyang in Calabar

Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani, has alleged that the Section 5 of the East-West road was designed to fail by those who awarded the contract for its construction.

Usani, who stated this at the weekend in Calabar, Cross River State, during the maiden outing of a group, Pragmatic Leaders Good Governance Symposium, said the contract for the project was “very shady, and un-executable”.

Usani said Section 5 of the road, which was originally designed to pass through Oron in Akwa Ibom, through the Jebs axis in Calabar, through the popular Watt Market in Calabar South, was faulty in design and contrary to the nation’s procurement prescription for public products execution.

“Imagine somebody saying they are going to supply sand, and you are going to pay in US dollars, is that real in Nigeria? So, it was outright fraud, and that is why I said in the public that the East-West road was originally designed to fail otherwise, why will you award a contract of less than 400 kilometres from 2006, and for over one decade it is not finished?

“But I am correcting that. We are doing what is sure, must make the project work. It doesn’t matter whether I remain in office to complete it or not, that mentality is why we keep failing”, he added.

Speaking on the theme of the event tagged, ‘Cross River State Yesterday, Today and the Way Forward’, Usani said it was a deliberate policy of the President Buhari administration to be tolerant of opposing views.

According to him, “The good governance of this administration is to be sure that we don’t hunt our opponents. In not hunting our opponents, it means we must be tolerant in accepting what people say against us. And when they speak against us, instead of coming out to quarrel with them, we use that as input to improve, and further our performance, and that is why people say the President is weak.”

In her remarks, the Director General of Pragmatic Leaders, Mrs. Elizabeth Usani, said the organisation was a non-governmental agency that was ready to work with all progressives to mobilise Cross Riverians to vote and be voted for.

She said the organisation, which comprises Cross River youths, believes in democracy of free choices of candidates, and free and credible elections.

“We desire to have a change that counts and pragmatic leadership that is hope for all. We have come out, feeling like ants that will not succumb to the rain. We have already penetrated the polling units across the state, and we are conscientising our people on the right choices to make,” Elizabeth Usani said.