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N’Delta group commends Tinubu for award of coastal road project, appeals for review of phases to include Bayelsa, Delta



By Stephen Asaba-ase


The Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (CHURAC) has commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for awarding the coastal highway project, appealing for a review to include Bayalsa and Delta States.


This was contained in a statement by Cleric Ebikonbowei Alaowei, Esq, Chairman Board of Trustees which a copy was sent to Congress correspondent during the weekend.


The statement reads, “The coastal highway awarded by the Federal Government is highly commendable. The road once completed, will open the Country to a number of opportunities. The coastal communities being the economic hub of the Country deserved to be connected with a good road network.


“The highway will engender ease of doing businesses. It will not only boast our export economy, the oil sector will also receive a boast. With the coastal highway connecting the Nigerian coastal communities to the hinterland, the issue of threats arising from the activities of sea pirates at the Nigerian coast will be reduced to the barest minimum thereby boasting the confidence of investors in our maritime domain.


While the coastal communities, especially in the Niger Delta area are the economic life wire of our petro-dollar mono-economy, these people had been economically marginalized by successive Governments since independence.


It would be recalled that this was the reason why youths in the Niger Delta region revolted against the Federal Government in a bloody armed struggle wherein late President Omaru Musa Yar’Adua awarded the coastal highway to prove his sincerity in developing the criminally abandoned region upon the grant of Presidential Amnesty to the agitators in 2009.


“Very unfortunate, successive governments after the death of Yar’Adua have failed to execute the project until God touched President Tinubu to rearward and execute the project with modifications. To us, this is a remarkable achievement in the post-amnesty struggle. Niger Delta people will forever be grateful to President Tinubu for this most important project.


“Even though, we cannot thank Mr. President enough for considering the coastal people in his blue economy, we however observed some politicking in the various sectors of the project. We’re not saying Mr. President has any bad intention in executing the project but looking at phases 1 & 2 which will cover only Lagos and Ogun States, it appears that the real political-cum economically marginalized coastal people in the Niger Delta region will not be thinking of benefiting from this initiative anytime soon.


However, the group called on Mr. President to review the phases of the project, while the first phase is to commence from Badagry to Lekki Deep seaport, the second phase should commence from Bayelsa State and end in Delta State.


“We therefore call on Mr. President to review the phases of the project. While the first phase is to commence from Badagry to Lekki Deep seaport, the second phase should commence from Bayelsa State and end in Delta State. This arrangement will make critical stakeholders including State governments to partner with the Federal Government for the seamless and speedy execution of the Project.


“Concentrating the first and second phases of the project in the Western part of the Country makes one to become circumspect. The people whose lands are feeding the Country should have a first or second choice in the execution of the project.


“Mr. President, if you want your government to be fair to all Nigerians then immediately commence the second phase from Bayelsa to Delta States. This is our passionate appeal. We also call on the governors of the South South geo-political zone and other stakeholders in the region to interface with the president on the need to review the phases of the work. All we want is for every part of the Country to benefit from the present government of the federation”, the group added.