BABATUNDE Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing and former governor of Lagos state while addressing journalists after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday said Nigeria’s roads were not as bad as they were portrayed to be.
Dismissing reports on the bad states of the highways, Fashola was quoted “the roads are not as bad as they are often portrayed. I know that this is going to be your headline, but the roads are not that bad”.
Meanwhile, prominent Nigerians and other citizens disagreed with him, while many pleaded the Minister to not adding “salt to injury” in a series of comments on Twitter.
Remi Sonaiya, retired Professor of French and Applied Linguistics and former presidential candidate in 2015 general elections, commented on Thursday on her Twitter handle that she was disappointed in the minister to not believing in media reports that show the state of the country’s roads regularly.
“Now, that’s disappointing, coming from Fashola. What of all the daily reports on television and in the papers, he doesn’t believe them?” she tweeted.
Sonaiya asked him to be travelling frequently on the roads, particularly Ife-Ibadan expressway, to understand the conditions.
Femi Fani-Kayode, former Minister of Aviation, accused Fashola of being “intellectually dishonest” to have described the country’s roads not too bad.
“Obviously, our minister travels majorly by air,” tweeted a youth identified as Niyi Alade. He said if Fashola should travel to Ilorin from Lagos on road, he would know whether Nigerian roads are bad or not.”
Emeka Nnadozie, who described himself on his Twitter handle as Current Affairs commentator, said: ‘Nobody listens to Fashola anymore. He is an overhyped Lagos intellectual cum sycophant politician. Can he say same thing when APC was in opposition? We have had enough of these tricksters that are masquerading as progressives.”
Another user said the bad road made road users drive in a zigzag way in order to avoid potholes.
“That’s why we can’t drive straight. And while avoiding these portholes, we also have to avoid the impatient Keke and bike riders so they won’t hit our side mirror!!!”
He had complained that time spent on the road multiplies because, while the situation had resulted in deaths.
“The Minister in charge of Federal Roads in Nigeria should be taken to actually drive through every Federal road in the first six months after the swearing-in, then he can settle down and know what to do. Bad roads kill,” a user suggested.
In October, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ogun State Branch protested against the deplorable conditions of roads in the state.
Tragi accidents have often occurred on the Nigerian roads. According to the Federal Road Safety Commission, more than 48,000 people died in over 78,000 road accidents across the country within 2007 and 2016.