Tue. May 28th, 2024
2JR9PMD Peter Obi, Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, speaks during an interview with Reuters at his residence in Lagos, Nigeria August 18, 2022. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja

By Ojukwu Emmanuel Chiadikaobi

 

In a scathing critique of the federal government’s recent actions, Peter Obi, the former governor of Anambra State and presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 elections, has denounced the initiation of the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway project as a misplaced priority in light of pressing national challenges. Obi took to his social media platform, formerly Twitter, to express deep concern over the insensitivity displayed by the government, emphasizing the devastating impact of the project on businesses and residences located in its designated right-of-way.

“The sight of this insensitive demolition is heart-wrenching. Livelihoods are being wiped away, lifetime investments are being wasted, and jobs are disappearing as bulldozers roar through. The homes of the elderly are being overturned by the power of bulldozers,” Obi lamented.

The former governor highlighted the widespread outcry from the public, particularly from business and property owners directly affected by the project, and criticized the government’s decision to prioritize a project that would result in job losses amid a period of rampant unemployment and economic hardship.

“At a time of rampant unemployment, the government is embarking on a job-losing project. The economic losses currently observed are primarily limited to the initial kilometers in the Lagos area. However, the 700 km stretch of this road will pass through rural regions where affected individuals lack the voice, power, or influence to assert their rights,” Obi remarked.

He further urged a re-evaluation of the rationale and timing of the Lagos-Calabar highway project, citing the urgent need for nationwide security, poverty eradication, healthcare, and education. Obi pointed out the neglect of existing highways, exemplified by a recent tragic accident on the East-West Road in Rivers State, as evidence of the government’s misplaced focus on new infrastructure projects.

“The urgent necessities are nationwide security, poverty eradication, healthcare, and education, especially for the poor and underprivileged. It’s not too late to discontinue the Lagos-Calabar highway project. We cannot afford another expensive abandoned project. Nigeria’s urgent development needs are more real and essential. We do not need landscape decoration escapades,” Obi concluded.

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