(By Iheanyi Ezinwo) -The alleged neglect of federal roads in Rivers State has become a source of great concern to members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, who, Thursday, came out across party lines to express their displeasure at the indifference of the federal government to the plight of those who live and do business in the state.
Consequent upon a motion by the majority leader of the House, Hon. Martins Amaewhule, and the subsequent debates, the Rivers Assembly resolved to condemn the neglect of federal roads in the state.
While commending the Rivers State governor, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike for his interventions on the Port Harcourt – Aba road, and the East West road to alleviate the sufferings of the people, the House also resolved to write, and engage the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta with a view to permanently addressing the deplorable condition of the affected roads.
The House also called on the federal government to refund the billions of naira expended by the past and present administrations on the reconstruction of federal roads in the state, in the interest of justice.
Responding to arguments by Hons. Victoria Nyeche, Friday Nke- Eh and Josiah Olu, opposition All progressive Congress lawmakers that the motion should not seek to condemn but appeal to the federal government, and that the idea of neglect creates the impression that the federal government deliberately turned blind eyes to the complaints of Rivers people, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi Ibani Owaji argued that, the failure of the federal government to refund monies committed to federal roads in the state by the state government was sufficient evidence of neglect.
Other lawmakers who contributed to the motion were displeased that Rivers State that lays the golden eggs for Nigeria has been so unfairly neglected.
Hons. Monday Chindah, osiah Olu, Oyenemi George and others recounted the nightmare being experienced by commuters on the federal roads in the state because of their deplorable condition, pleading with the relevant federal government agencies to do the needful, especially as the poor state of the roads also directly affects the operations of the Eleme refinery, Onne Free Zone, Indorama Petrochemical and fertilizer company and other key federal and multinational organisations in concentrated in the Eleme axis of the state.
Also at the Thursday’s sitting, the Rivers State House of Assembly also screened and cleared the chairman and members of Degeme Local Government caretaker committee, and also gave first reading to the Ken Saro – Wiwa Polytechnic Repeal Bill 2017.