Worried by the incessant deaths recorded on the Akpajo/Eleme section of the commercially important 338-kilometer stretch of the East/West road, Rivers state Governorship candidate for the 2023 election on the platform of Zenith Labor Party, (ZLP), Rt. Hon Leyii Kwanee has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the federal government and other key stakeholders to do the needful or face grave consequences.
He gave the ultimatum while reacting to the spate of deaths from gruesome road accidents that were recorded on the Eleme Junction to Trailer Park stretch of the East-West Road last week.
He said such unfortunate development was a grave concern to his 2023 Gubernatorial Campaign Organization as a commercial vehicle was reported to have plunged into the river from the dilapidated Akpajo Bridge which connects the state capital, Port Harcourt to Onne, Akwa Ibom and Cross River State and killed unidentified number of occupants in the process.
Rt. Hon. Leyii Kwanee also noted the depth of grief expressed by Rivers people and other well-meaning Nigerians over the avoidable destruction of lives resulting from trailers falling on a bus and crushing to death or knocking off another on the Akpajo bridge and plunging the passengers to their untimely death.
“There is no doubt that these deaths could have been averted but for the very terrible state of the aforementioned sections of that road.
I am concerned that we have leaders and governments in place which swore to protect and defend the Nigerian Constitution yet can go to bed every other night whilst the lives and properties that Constitution has given them an assignment to protect are destroyed out of negligence and total lack of empathy for the welfare of Rivers people and fellow Nigerians”, he stated in dismay.
He maintained that no Government worthy of its name would abandon a road that warehouses hundreds of multimillion dollar foreign and local investments such as are found in the Federal Ocean Terminal at Onne in Eleme Local Government Area to consume the lives of citizens plying that route.
“This is unacceptable by every civilized standards and we condemn it in no uncertain terms”, the ZLP Governorship Candidate stated.
The former Deputy Speaker in the State House of Assembly said, as a responsible citizen of the Federal Republic and a political party that places premium on the lives and welfare of Rivers people and other Nigerians living and doing business in or transiting through the State said he was compelled to call on the authorities of the Federal and Rivers State Governments, particularly the Federal Ministry of Works, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FEMA and her State counterpart to quickly intervene and mobilize contractors to restore that section of the East-West road.
He threatened that where the above mentioned is not done within the next 21 days, he would mobilize civil society to take actions including blocking movement by vehicles on that road for as long as the Federal and Rivers State Governments continue to pay deaf ears to the plight of our people.