Troubled by the continued parlous state of the Ogoni axis of the East-West Road, the member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dumnamene Robinson Dekor has again called for declaration of national emergency on the road.
He said it is important to reiterate the call, as it is becoming shameful for Nigerians to have such road of immense economic importance abandoned and turned into a death trap.
The federal lawmaker who spoke to journalists when he visited the area on Wednesday, said he was particularly alarmed at the state of the Akpajo Bridge along the road which he feared was on the brink of collapse.
“I don’t know how many persons have been privileged to take a look at the bridge, just by the Eleme Petrochemicals. We pray that that bridge does not collapse when people are passing through it.
“If the federal government continues to fail in their responsibility, it’s my prayer that whoever heads the federal government should be on that bridge when it will collapse, so that government will understand the enormity of the suffering of the people who live and regularly ply that route”, he furiously declared.
Rt. Hon. Dekor who is the House Committee Chairman on Host Communities wondered if the federal government was waiting for people to get killed on that bridge before they could see the need for action.
“Again, I call on the federal government to take this road seriously. And if they think the road is just the pathway to Ogoniland, it’s not true.
“If that’s the reason they don’t want to rehabilitate that road, they should realise the road leads to Akwa Ibom and Cross River states and even up to Benue State”, he reminded.
Recalling that as then Works Commissioner in Rivers State, the Wike administration attempted to take over the bridge to build a new one, he said the effort was frustrated by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs who immediately mobilized materials to the site but has not done anything on it till today.
“They started dropping materials there, suggesting it’s a federal government project and asked the Rivers State government to back out.
“But several years down the line, that road is still like that. So, I call on the federal government to be responsible enough and rebuild that road, which is supposed to be one of the largest and biggest road in Nigeria”, he said, adding that the road remains the pathway for over a thousand companies that bring taxes and revenues to the federal government.