OPINION: Port Harcourt Road And The Vice Of Hypocrisy
OPINION: Port Harcourt Road And The Vice Of Hypocrisy – By Ferdinand Ekeoma
Dr. Alex Otti has attracted, and has personally built quality road projects in Isialangwa North, Isialangwa South, Isuikwuato and Arochukwu. Except that of Isieketa-Mbawsi, none of the other projects witnessed any kind of drama.
When he attracted the over 11 Kilometre Isieketa Mbawsi Road, Abia state government, through the then LGA Chairman did everything to stop the project. They tried to extort the Engineers, but were resisted. They sent thugs there and caused a lot of distractions, until Otti sent security agents to provide security for the engineers and their equipment.
Their infantile calculation was that Otti would build political capital off the project, hence they made the false claim that the road had been awarded by them. For them, everything is petty politics.
Today, that road is the longest, most solid and most strategic road found in that part of the state.
During the Campaigns, one of the governorship candidates deployed Construction Equipment along the Osisioma axis of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway. He claimed he wanted to rehabilitate the road. The road in question belongs to Federal Government and was awarded to Arab Contractors. No body bullied, shouted or condemned the Candidate in question, even though discerning minds knew that what he was doing was a mere campaign strategy.
Ironically, a governor-elect who by law ought to be enjoying certain privileges like Security Briefing, Usage of Governor’s Lodge, Extra Security escort etc, is being attacked for getting a Reputable Construction Company to visit an abandoned dilapidated road, for an on-the-spot assessment, ahead of his inauguration. Gaze those leadng the criticism? The same guys who applauded their Candidate for deploying Construction Equipment on a federal road under construction, and the ones who didn’t have the balls to criticise the government in power for abandoning the road after massive destruction of people’s houses was carried out.
The question they have failed to answer are:
- What happened to the several billions of naira secured for the construction of Port Harcourt Road, since there is nothing tangible on ground?
- How did the visit by Julius Berger affect Abia state government, when the Construction Giant didn’t bring any equipment there and didn’t do anything to imply sabotage?
- Why is Abia state government opposed to the harmless step being taken to initiate the process of genuine reconstruction when it’s obvious they have no interest in building the road?
- Should a government care more about its pride than the plight of its people?
It’s only in Abia where a government with such a notorious reputation for misgovernance and betrayal of the people, would have the audacity to play victim, when in the real sense, it is the aggressor.
In all sincerity, PDP and Abia state government are not angry that Julius Berger visited the abandoned Port Harcourt Road, rather, they are angry that Otti is going to use excellent performance to expose their failure to the world, because Berger represents quality and excellence.