By Daniel Tyokua
A group, Road Users Development Network of Nigeria, RUDNN, has asked the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola to fix the deplorable state of the Abuja-Keffi Expressway, or resign as the minister.
The group said the Minister abandoning such an important Federal road is not only a betrayal of public confidence, but an offence to humanity, saying the Minister should fix it or resign immediately.
This was even as they called on FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello to expedite actions on the Apo-Karshi road project and save residents and other commuters the stress they go through.
Speaking on behalf of the group, it’s Director of Technical operations, Engineer Gabriel Godwin, at the weekend, noted that the bad spots on the AYA to Mararaba stretch of the Abuja-Keffi road, are not only causing untold hardship to commuters, but an embarrassment to the present administration.
Godwin also said that a section of the road that can be traversed in twenty minutes during peak periods, now takes about two hours due to the bad state of the road.
According to him , the minister had over time paid very little attention to the existing carriageway of Road which has remained in very bad shape.
In his words, ” if the Abuja-Keffi Expressway which is the closest federal road to the Aso rock presidential villa is in this sorry state then there is no hope for other federal roads across the country. The bad portions of this ever busy federal road is just five minutes drive from the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and yet it is in this sorry state. Over 55 percent of the staff in the presidential villa and 65 of the ministry of work and FERMA staff ply this road everyday to and from work”
He further noted that ” in front of Prince oil filling station, in Kugbo has led to several accidents, killing innocent Nigerians on daily basis. We contacted the headquarters of the Federal road maintenance agency and were told that the bad stretch of road from Abacha Barracks to FCT boundary with Nasarawa State is no longer under their schedule because the road is under expansion. A senior officer at FERMA’s office in wuse 2 told us that it is Duty of the contractor handling the expansion work to fix the potholes but the highways department of the works and Housing ministry is not doing its job”.
On Apo-Karshi road, Godwin called on the FCT minister Mallam Muhammad Bello to ensure prompt completion of the Apo-Karshi road noting that all promises made to complete works on the road at various times have not been kept by past and present FCT administrations.
“from what we saw during our visit to the Apo-karshi road recently not much is going on there.
Out of the about 6 bulldozers meant to reduce the problematic hill only one is functional. We strongly doubt capability of the contractor to deliver that road anytime soon. The FCT administration should quickly return to the drawing board, tell itself honest truths about the Apo-Karshi road and take the expected decision, to ease traffic conjection along AYA-Nyanya- Mararaba road”.
He called on FCT administration to fix the numerous potholes and bad spots on the Nyanya-Karshi.