A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has asked frustrated motorists plying the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to pay back the All Progressives Congress (APC) for subjecting millions of road users to perpetual and untold agony due to its failure to complete the vital road.
He described as unacceptable and unfair, the way and manner the APC government has handled the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the busiest road in sub-Saharan Africa.
The human rights lawyer also said the APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari is using the completion of the road as a campaign strategy for the party to get re-elected in 2023.
“This is the longest project anybody has constructed in the world because it started under the Goodluck Jonathan administration who was using it as political strategy to get re-election. And that is exactly what the Buhari administration engaged in and it is unfair on our people,” Adegboruwa said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.
“We must say it: that every time we get these kinds of fake promises on the delivery of infrastructure that leads to the death of people, we should rise up and reject those people when the opportunity comes for election.
“I believe Nigerians should use this particular frustration to pay the APC government back in its own coin. Why would you do a less than 200km road for eight years? It is unacceptable.”
Highway Of Kidnappers, Robbers
For months, road users along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway have been stranded for hours in the perpetual gridlock associated with the Kara-OPIC end of the busiest road in West Africa. From the Magboro axis to the notorious Otedola bridge, road travellers groan endlessly to come into Lagos and exit the state.
In recent weeks, the gridlock has become compounded and nightmarish with kidnapping as unscrupulous elements attack motorists, cart away their valuables and abduct them in exchange of millions of naira as ransom.
According to Adegboruwa, Nigerians whose health have been jeopardised due to prolonged time in traffic, those who have lost productive work time, and those who lost loved ones to accidents and kidnapping on the road should sue the government.
“All of us who suffer agony on this road should have the courage to approach the court and challenge the government and hold it accountable,” he stated.
‘Fashola Has No Excuse’
Adegboruwa further said his fellow senior advocate, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has no excuse for failing Nigerians.
“No excuse can be proffered by any minister. No reasonable justification can be propounded by any government to rationalise the frustration, the agony that our people go through on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and indeed other roads across the Federation.
“He (Fashola) should take responsibility…the reality on the ground is that our people are suffering, the reality on the ground is that our government is not showing responsibility in terms of the acceleration of the project, in terms of the funding, in terms of warnings for people through enlightenment programmes. You should know, for instance, the alternative roads you can take,” he said.
‘December Completion Date Wishful Thinking’
In September, the Director, Federal Highway (South-West), Federal Ministry Of Works and Housing, Adedamola Kuti, said the “whole stretch of Lagos to Ibadan will be completed, the main carriageway will be completed before the end of this year, 2022”.
However, Adegboruwa described as “wishful thinking”, the government’s calculations that the road will be completed before the end of 2022.
“The telltale signs are all there, major sections of the road are not tackled at all.
“How can anybody accept this as a reconstruction project and then we’ve used all our resources, Abacha loot, loans here and there, and then our generation will be paying the loans upon this poor construction?” the lawyer queried.