OKOWA/OMO-AGEGE: Hidden issues surrounding the deplorable state of Sapele-Abraka-Agbor expressway
By GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board
As Deltans like their counterparts across the country braces up for the February 25th and March 11, 2023 general elections, GbaramatuVoice is sure that they would not need anybody to remind them that Sapele-Abraka-Agbor expressway is in a deplorable state. They will also remember without prompting that the poor state of the road has presently become a cross that Deltans stoically endures with no end in sight to the suffering.
Aside from decrying the loss of man hour to the deplorable condition of the road, GbaramtuVoice investigation reveals that, the bad condition of the Abraka-Agbor road exposes commuters to armed robbery attacks, particularly at night.
In addition to the above, what is however worrying to GbaramatuVoice is that, instead of finding solution to the sorry state of the road to end the suffering of Deltans who daily make use of the road, the two political bigwigs in state; in the persons of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Executive Governor of Delta state, and Ovie Omo-Age, Deputy Senate President and 4th most powerful citizen in the country and their teaming supporters, have turned the state of the road to issue of political debates and campaigns.
While Okowa’s led administration tells whoever that care to listen that the referenced Abraka-Agbor roads belongs to Federal Government, and therefore, every blame arising from the current state of the road should be heaped at the doorstep of the Federal Government, Omo-Agege on his own account says something that worths listening to.
Omo-Agege’s according to media reports said; “When I became deputy president of the senate, I requested Delta state governor, Dr ifeanyi okowa to know the status of the road all the way from petroleum training institute to Agbor, so that I could put it in the Niger Delta Development Commission budget. But because Okowa felt he would not get the political credit, the issue died.”
Also recently, Omo-Agege during his governorship ward to ward campaign beckoned on Okowa’s administration to explain to Deltans what happened to the N20 billion approved and expended on the abandoned PTI/Orerokpe/Eku/Abraka road by his administration in which Speaker Oborevwori doubles as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship candidate in the state.
From the above accusations and counter-accusations between Okowa and Omo-Agege, it raises the question as to whom to believe or blame for the poor state of the road? Is it Okowa or Omo-Agege?
Is it true that Governor Okowa truly earmarked and expended N20 billion on the abandoned PTI/Orerokpe/Eku/Abraka Road as claimed by Omo-Agege? Is Okowa saying that if this road passed through Owa-Alero where he hails from, he would have allowed the road to remain in bad shape under the guise of being a Federal Road? Have Deltans not seen Okowa led administration fix Federal Roads in the state and ask for refund from the Federal Government? If Okowa has done that in the past, what prevented him from replicating the same on Abraka-Agbor Expressway?
To Omo-Agege, the questions begging for answers are: Is Agbor-Abraka road truly a Federal road? If yes, why must you wait, as claimed above, for Okowa to assess the state of the road before you take action? How will Deltans believe your account whereas you drive through the same road each time, from or to, Abuja? Most importantly, if you cannot use your position as the Deputy Senate President (DSP) to attract from the Federal Government, the resurfacing of a key road like Agbor-Abraka that is pivotal to all, how do you expects Deltans to entrust you with the governorship of the state in the forthcoming general election?
While the newspaper expects no feedback from both of you as such is not in your political characters, GbaramatuVoice however requests that both of you kindly strike a balance in ways that will have the road repaired. You must do this not for political reasons but for the interests and benefits of Deltans.
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