Transparency and Integrity


Obaseki's Response To Failed Sapele Road, Ekehuan Dualization, As Exemplary Leadership - Okunsebor


'Obaseki's Response To Failed Sapele Road.' 

An Opinion By : Matthew Okunsebor

It is difficult to understand why the authorities of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) did not attend to the failed portion of the Benin – Sapele Road by RCC spot and Ogheghe Junction in Edo State. The road has been in a deplorable state for a long time while motorists and commuters groan under the throes of persistent gridlock. The road in question is a Federal Road which ought to be maintained consistently by FERMA, but to everyone's dismay and disbelief, FERMA in Edo State seemed to have feigned ignorance of the impassable road and the perennial plight of innocent road users.

Arguably, the core mandate of FERMA in Edo is to maintain all Federal roads within the State, but this is at variance with the reality on ground.  Ocular evidence shows that FERMA has reneged on its official responsibility to the Nigerian people as most portions of Federal roads in Edo State are in a deplorable state.

Thanks to Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who rose to the occasion even when it is not within the mandate of the State Government to maintain Federal roads. With the unfolding events, it became very obvious that Governor Obaseki was not at ease when he heard that Edo people and other road users were suffering every day for hours on end at the Benin – Sapele Road axis. The Governor therefore personally went to Sapele Road to see the failed portion of the road for himself. His address to the distraught road users served as a soothing balm to their frayed nerves and seething anger. Obaseki assured them that the State Government would provide palliative measures to make the road passable. As a man of his words, Governor Obaseki immediately swung into action and engaged construction contractors to carry out the job.

In like manner, the contractors speedily deployed men and materials to the failed portion of the road where work is currently ongoing. This intervention is already providing relief to the road users who are now pouring encomiums on the State Governor. The expectation is that by the time the palliative work is completed, motorists and commuters will begin to enjoy smooth ride on a road that used to be a death trap.

It is paradoxical that the Federal Government shirked its constitutional responsibility of providing and maintaining Federal roads, while Edo State Government which has no such mandate took up the extra responsibility to alleviate the pains of Nigerians. This singular intervention has been and is still eliciting commendations and applause from all and sundry.

Meanwhile, as the dry season begins to set in, Caterpillars have started “dancing” again on Ekehuan Road in fulfillment of the State Government’s commitment to accelerating the dualization of Ekehuan Road. The rainy season had adversely affected the construction work earlier in the year such that contractors could not make desirable progress during the period, and that was partly responsible for a couple of complaints heard from some quarters.

Now that the dry season approaches fully, the contractors have fully mobilized their workers, machines and materials to the construction site, and they can be seen working from Ekehuan Slope axis after Erediauwa Junction up to Ugbighoko area. Asphalting work has continued with more vigour and speed from Ighile Group of School axis on the right side of the road and asphalting is progressing towards the lowest point of the slope.

Since the contractors commenced the asphalting work a few weeks ago, the pace of work has been appreciable and commendable. They have also leveled all the bad portions of the road up to Ekehuan Barracks in preparation for asphalting. The gridlock that used to characterize the route has been eased off as a result of the improvement in the construction work, and driving on Ekehuan Road has once again become easy and enjoyable. People in the area as well as road users are now in high spirits and full of expectation that the dualization work would be a blessing to people around the axis.  This and over 100 roads are currently being constructed or reconstructed in the state. For Edo State to become great again, the past glory must be restored, and that is what Governor Obaseki is working on relentlessly

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