Connect with us

Headlines

Fashola Gets Knocks for Saying Nigerian Roads Are ‘Not that Bad’

Published

on

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, insisted on Wednesday that Nigerian roads were not that bad as often portrayed.

Speaking shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting, he said reports on the poor state of the country’s roads were mere hypes.

The FEC meeting, which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, approved N58.4billion for the construction of Bida-Sachi-Nupeko road and the Nupeko-Patigi Bridge across River Niger, linking Nupeko and Patigi in Niger and Kwara states.

The PUNCH had on June 24, reported that federal roads were in a terrible state of disrepair. According to the report, the bad state of the roads has been aiding bandits and herdsmen, who kill and kidnap travellers in impassable spots on the highways.

Some of the roads listed included the 110-kilometre-Gusau-Dansadau Road in Zamfara State; the Oyo-Iseyin road in Oyo State and the Makurdi-Gboko-Katsina Alla-Zaki Biam Road, which links Benue State to Taraba State.

But on Wednesday, Fashola, while dismissing reports on bad state of the highways said, “The roads are not as bad as they are often portrayed. I know that this is going to be your headline, but the roads are not that bad”, he told State House Correspondents.

The minister explained that, but for funding challenges, most road projects would have been long completed.

Fashola also stated that some parts of the country faced peculiar issues like high water table, which made construction in the rainy season difficult.

He mentioned the South-East and the South-South among areas with such difficulties.

The minister added that the ministry and contractors were waiting patiently for the rains to subside so that they could return to sites.

Reacting to Fashola’s assessment of Nigerian roads, the Chairman, Infrastructure Development Committee, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Ibrahim Usman, said contrary to what the minister said, Nigerian roads were very bad.

He said, “I think the minister is being economical with the truth. The roads are terrible. Take for instance the Biu to Gombe road that took one-and-a-half hours in the past to ply, now it takes four hours to get from Biu to Gombe. The luck we have is that Boko Haram has not stuck on that road.

“Another terrible road is the Damaturu-Biu road. That also takes four hours when in the past it took less than two hours.That was where military trucks and equipment were seized and taken into the bush by  bandits some weeks back. At least if the roads are good, cars can move with speed  but when the roads are terrible, movement is difficult and it is easy for robbers to attack.”

Usman said his cars  could no longer ply the roads and he had to park them.

He said he recently travelled from Lagos to Cotonou where he spent three hours getting to Cotonou but from Cotonou to Lome, he did not find a single pothole and the trip took  less than the length of time it took to go from Lagos to Cotonou.

The Punch

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headlines

Edo 2020: Obaseki, Seven APC Govs Seek Audience with Buhari after Meeting Tinubu

Published

on

Eight governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, on Sunday, held a meeting with the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, at the state House Marina, Lagos to make a case for the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

Although details of the meeting were still sketchy as of the time of filing this report, it was gathered that the governors were at the closed-door meeting to seek Tinubu’s intervention in the search for truce in the political conflict between Obaseki and his godfather, the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole.

Governors who attended the meeting included the chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Babajide Sanwu-Olu (Lagos), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Adeboyega Oyetola (Osun) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).

Others are Mohammed Abubakar (Jigawa) and Obaseki.

Five of the governors, including Obaseki, then proceeded to Abuja, preparatory to a meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

A source privy to the meeting who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said, “The governors met with our national leader, they laid their cards on the table and plainly asked for his intervention.

“They admitted that mistakes had been made especially with the governor’s refusal to pave the way for the swearing in of 14 elected APC members as members of the state Assembly.

“They also noted that the meeting ought to have held earlier and that the governor who was present at the meeting should have reached out to seek help much earlier before the situation degenerated to the level of a public spat between the governor and the national chairman.

“And being the kind of person, he is, our leader listened patiently and he is not one to rush into judgment before hearing from the other party. He will look at what is in the party’s best interest after consulting widely with other stakeholders before taking a final stand.”

The National Working Committee of the party had approved the direct primary as the mode of selecting the party’s standard bearer for the forthcoming governorship election in the state.

Loyalists of the governor are opposed to the mode arguing that it was meant to frustrate his chances of standing as the party’s standard bearer.

Obaseki and his estranged political godfather have been at odds over the former’s bid for a second term in office following a long-drawn battle for the political control of the state.

Pundits accuse the governor of working with his fellow governors opposed to Oshiomhole leadership style in an earlier attempt to force Oshiomhole out of office.

A member of the party’s National Working Committee who also pleaded anonymity for fear of retribution said, “Besides the feud between Obaseki and our National Chairman, we have to consider the overall interest of our party. The best thing to do for our party in Edo is to have direct primaries. This is why; it is the best for us even without the conflict between the two leaders. The last time we did primaries even for the election of Obaseki as governor, it was direct, we have done that there before, we can only improve on it than to go and try something new. Two, if we are learning from our past mishaps like what happened in Rivers State, there were litigations over the congresses we did before and we went into indirect and we used officials whose positions were being challenged in court as delegates and when the court nullified the congresses that brought the executives, everything done was nullified, we lost the opportunity to contest the elections in Rivers State.

“There are two chairmen in Edo, we have recognized the removal of the Anselem-led exco and the matter is still in court, whichever way the court rules, we may have a problem if we use the indirect using the executives as delegates.

“Then there is the issue of COVID-19 with the protocol of social distancing. It will be easier to manage a crowd in each ward instead of bringing four to five thousand people in one place as the indirect mode will require.”

When contacted, the APC National Vice-Chairman, South South, Hilliard Eta said, “As the governing political party, the APC will continue to lead by example when it comes to giving party members the right to choose candidates.

Also, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said, “The APC will, as always, provide a level playing field for all aspirants to pursue their legitimate aspirations in line with the constitution on our party guidelines.”

The Punch

Continue Reading

Headlines

Nigeria Coronavirus Cases Exceed 10,000 with 307 New Infections

Published

on

Nigeria’s tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday rose to 10,162 as 307 new infections were announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Fourteen deaths were recorded from the virus on Sunday bringing the total number of confirmed deaths from the virus to 287.

Lagos recorded the highest figure of cases reported with 188 infections. The state also remains the epicentre for the disease.

There was a decline in the number of infections reported on Sunday (307) compared to the number reported on Saturday (553).

The country on Saturday had reported the highest daily figure of infections so far yet, since the beginning of the outbreak in Nigeria.

The agency in a tweet late Sunday night said the 307 new cases were reported in 15 states. These are Lagos, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ogun, Kaduna, Oyo, Bayelsa, Gombe, Kano, Delta, Imo, Rivers, Niger, Bauchi, Plateau and Kwara.

“Till date, 10162 cases have been confirmed, 3007 cases have been discharged and 287 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” it said.

The 307 new cases are reported from 15 states – Lagos – 188, FCT – 44, Ogun – 19, Kaduna – 14, Oyo – 12, Bayelsa – 9, Gombe – 5, Kano – 3, Delta – 3, Imo – 2, Rivers – 2, Niger – 2, Bauchi – 2, Plateau – 1 and Kwara – 1.

There are 6, 868 active COVID-19 cases in the country as 3,007 people have recovered and have been discharged, with 287 deaths recorded.

A breakdown of the 10,162 confirmed cases shows that Lagos State has so far reported 4,943 cases, followed by Kano – 954, FCT – 660, Katsina – 364, Edo – 284, Oyo – 292, Borno – 271,Jigawa – 270, Ogun – 278, Kaduna – 258, Bauchi – 238, Rivers – 206, Gombe – 161, Sokoto – 116, Plateau – 105, Kwara – 88, Delta – 83, Zamfara – 76, Nasarawa – 62, Yobe – 52, Akwa Ibom – 45, Osun – 45, Ebonyi – 40, Adamawa – 38, Imo – 36, Kebbi – 33, Niger – 32, Ondo – 25, Ekiti – 20, Enugu – 18, Taraba – 18, Bayelsa – 12, Anambra – 11, Abia – 10, Benue – 7 and Kogi – 2.

Despite the increasing figures, many Nigerians are alleging that Nigeria is not testing enough and the figures might not reflect the true situation in the country.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Chris Okotie Slams CAN, Condemns Social Distancing Guilelines in Churches

Published

on

The Senior Pastor of the Household of God International Ministries, Chris Okotie, on Sunday kicked against the Christian Association of Nigeria’s (CAN) proposed social distancing guidelines for churches.

Mr Okotie, who was the presidential candidate of Fresh Democratic Party, frowned at CAN’s decision to allow what he described as the ‘Idol of Coronavirus’ determine the scope of congregational worship in churches in Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement he posted on his official Facebook page.

The cleric referenced a report published in the Sun Newspaper on Sunday wherein CAN unveiled guidelines for the reopening of churches in the first week of June.

He said, “Social distancing in the Church of Jesus Christ is tantamount to blasphemous infidelity and an impeachment of the integrity of the Word of God. Healing is fundamental to the redemptive work of Jesus.

“To allow the idol of Corona Virus to determine the scope of congregational worship in the house of God is an abomination of gargantuan proportions. No true minister of the gospel will succumb to such travesty of the faith. This is a summary of my objections.

“I have sent this message hoping that you would respond as one who bears the burden of the Cross of Jesus. I have restrained myself from making a public outcry of this desecration and profanation out of respect for you and the CAN hierarchy. But be assured that this position is transient.”

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Nigeria, a ban has been placed on social and religious gatherings in the country to curb the spread of the virus.

But some Nigerian pastors have challenged the directive.

A popular pastor, Chris Oyakhilome, recently berated his colleagues, (Nigerian pastors) that complied with the government’s ban on large gatherings because of coronavirus.

Mr Oyakhilome, who is the general overseer of Believers’ Love World, popularly known as Christ Embassy, said such leaders were not true Christians as they did not ask the government for time to pray and consult with their congregation.

CAN GUIDELINES

The Christian Association of Nigeria recently expressed hope that the ban on religious gatherings in the country may be lifted by the first Sunday of June.

CAN President, Samson Ayokunle, a reverend, gave the indication in a statement.

Mr. Ayokunle said churches will disinfect their premises, as well as make provisions for alcohol sanitisers, among others.

He also suggested the use of face masks and adherence to other social distancing measures.

Continue Reading