…Give FG 14-day to commence rehabilitation
From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) and the Human Rights and Grassroots Development Society (HRGDS) have raised the alarm on the deplorable conditions of some federal roads in the state, particularly the Sagamu-Ogijo-Ikorodu and some portions of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
According to the rights groups, bad portions on the Lagos-Abeokuta road such as Sango-Ota, Joju, Owode, Ijako, Iyana-Ilogbo and Pakoto had not only become death traps for motorists, but they had made commuters plying the road prone to armed robbery attacks.
The groups, however, issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to embark on a sustainable palliative rehabilitation of the roads, particularly as the Yuletide is approaching, to end the sufferings of users of the roads or face mass protest and legal action.
They also called for an emergency to be declared in the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) for its incapability to maintain the federal roads particularly, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway in Ogun State.
These positions were contained in a statement, jointly signed on Wednesday in Abeokuta by the Ogun State Chairman of CDHR, Folarin Olayinka and the General Secretary of HRGDS, Akanbi Oluwafemi.
The groups, expressed dismay that despite the damage and economic loss being suffered daily by commuters on these two roads, the Federal Ministry of Works and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), have failed to show concerns and give the needed attention to the important express roads.
They noted that apart from the harrowing experience of commuters, corporate businesses on the roads have equally suffered huge loss of revenue.
The rights groups stated further in the statement: “That the Federal Government should release to Ogun State Government funds spent in the past for the purpose of construction and maintenance of Federal Roads in Ogun State, our request became necessary as the demand for completion of ongoing Road projects is inevitable.
“That the Federal Ministry of Works and National Assembly should consider the reconstruction of Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway in the 2018 budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“That the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) should suspend impounding of vehicles damaged as a result of government negligence to its responsibilities of providing good road Infrastructure, we see this as injustice that must stop.
“That FRSC should mainly be concerned with rescue operations of victims on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway until the road is fixed.
“That failure of the Federal Government to save the lives of the Ogun State people within 14 days, will leave the organisations with no other options than to mobilize for a mass protest and institute a legal action against the Federal Government of Nigeria”.