Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road: I Insist That Our Resources Be Used Judiciously, Obi Replies Umahi
Peter Obi and Dave Umahi

Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road: I Insist That Our Resources Be Used Judiciously, Obi Replies Umahi  

3 weeks ago
2 mins read

Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general election, Mr Peter Obi, has reiterated his position on the Lagos-Calabar coastal road construction project, maintaining that Nigeria’s resources should be judiciously used on projects with maximum positive impact on the country.

Obi stated this while responding to comments made by the Minister of Works, Engr Dave Umahi regarding his earlier statement about the Lagos-Calabar  Coastal road proposed by the Federal Government.

The project since it was announced, has been generating controversies, with Nigerians in different quarters including opposition party leaders criticising it over the demolition of structures on the right of way which causes disruption of economic activities and the process followed in awarding the contract.

The 700 km Lagos-Calabar coastal road will be constructed for N15 trillion with a kilometre of the road estimated to cost N4 billion, according to the minister of works.

Obi had earlier criticised the project saying it is a misplaced priority at this time when several other road projects have been abandoned for decades for lack of funds.

However, in response, Umahi accused him of inciting the people of Southeast against the Federal Government and also made reference to the demolition of structures obstructing roads done in Anambra State during the tenure of Obi as governor.

In a statement posted on his verified X handle on Thursday, Obi said he insists that the national resources should be channeled to priority projects with maximum impact at this time, adding that the coastal road project with the attendant disruptions shouldn’t be one.

He said his commitment remains to “advocate the rights and well-being of all Nigerians, ensuring that development initiatives prioritize the needs of the people. Most importantly, I will continue to insist that our national resources be applied with maximum frugality.”

On the accusation of inciting Southeast people against the Federal Government, Obi said it was unfounded, a “baseless distraction” and clearly aimed at tarnishing his character.

He said his focus is on constructive dialogue for national cohesion and development not playing divisive politics.

“Regarding allegations of incitement against the government, I firmly reject these unfounded accusations aimed at tarnishing my character.

“My focus is on fostering constructive dialogue and inclusivity, rather than engaging in divisive politics. Claims of incitement are baseless distractions. I have always advocated for unity and advancement, refusing to partake in reactionary divisive politics.

“I refuse to be reduced to the level of those who wallow in ethnic politics. Worse still, I have never and can never descend so low as to base my political aspirations on any sectional or ethnic interest.

“My commitment to serving with integrity remains steadfast, and I encourage all Nigerians to unite for a prosperous future” Obi stated.

On the demolition of structures carried out during his tenure as governor, Obi said they were all removed for encroaching on the roads and also built without government approval. “I challenge anyone to verify and show me where the demolished structures on existing roads or ongoing businesses were not encroaching on the road and built without government approval while I served as governor,” he added.

He cited examples of structures his administration removed and relocated to appropriate places such as the Onitsha North and South Local Council secretariats, and renovated stadiums in those places.

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“My actions were strategic, aiming to prioritize the repair and maintenance of existing infrastructure over projects that risked disruption and destruction. This approach aimed to safeguard the livelihoods of Nigerians and ensure the efficient use of resources.”

The former Anambra governor maintained that his actions on road construction projects in the state were “focused on removing obstructions on existing roads to enhance accessibility and safety for all.”

“The ongoing destruction and disruption of jobs and livelihoods associated with the Lagos-Calabar coastal road construction sharply contrasts with my administration’s efforts to improve infrastructure while minimizing adverse impacts on communities,” Obi said.

 

 

 

Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.

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