Second Niger Bridge: Apologise to Nigerians, Oshiomhole Tells Onolemhemen


 By Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin

The war of words between Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, and members of cabinet of former president Goodluck Jonathan has continued unabated with the former calling on former works minster, Mike Onolemhemen, to apologise to Nigerians for terrible state of federal roads across the country.

Oshiomhole was reacting to calls by the former minister that he should apologies to Nigerians over his remark that N140 billion was spent on the Second Niger Bridge without much to show for.

He said that the minister and members of the Sovereign Wealth Fund are the ones to apologise to the country for their poor performance, especially concerning the construction and rehabilitation of roads.

The governor’s reaction was contained in a press statement issued by his spokesperson, Peter Okhiria.

“The revelation came from those who were managers of the Sovereign Wealth Funds and not figures manufactured by anybody. They told our Committee that about $700 million were taken from the Sovereign Wealth Fund for the Second Niger Bridge project,” the statement said.

“Fully aware that not much has been achieved on that project, Onolemhemen and the managers of the Sovereign Wealth Funds should explain to Nigerians what really transpired, instead of asking Comrade Oshiomhole to apologize to Nigerians. The real people who should apologize to Nigerians for their many sins against the country are those who expended so much of our resources without any corresponding achievements to show for it.”

Oshiomhole said the bad condition of federal roads in Edo state attests to the poor performance of the minister, who incidentally is from the state.



    “In Edo state, the Aduwawa end of the Benin-Auchi road is almost impassable especially during this rainy season. As we speak, erosion has cut off the Benin-Auchi road into two and motorists are going through hell passing through that road. What about Benin-Abraka road; one hell of a road completely abandoned and vandalized. People should find time to pass through Uromi-Agbor road, a major highway connecting the Eastern part of the country, it is an eye sore. Yet, we had a Minister of Works who hails from Uromi,” Oshiomole lamented.

    During Jonathan’s tenure, it was widely reported that the Ministry of Works had built and rehabilitated 25, 000 out of the about 35, 000 federal roads in the country, but the Edo state governor thinks otherwise.

    “Roads from Oyo to Ilorin, Ilorin to Jebba and Bida, from Ore to Ijebu-Ode, from Ikom to Calabar, Onitsha to Enugu are amongst the several roads that explain the sad commentary on the state of Nigerian roads,” he observed.

    “Aside from being death traps, they represent in graphic terms, the poor performance of the last regime in terms of roads construction and rehabilitation. Rather than hide his head in shame; Onolemhemen is still oozing out diatribe against Nigerians. We deserve explanation and no amount of blackmail can stop us from speaking out about the fate of our country,” the governor stated.



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