BENIN-OFOSU SECTION
A section of the Benin – Sagamu Expressway

I often wonder whether those who say Jonathan has done NOTHING are actually Nigerians. If they are, do they reside in Nigeria? True, GEJ might not have done ENOUGH, in view of the hunger for transformation after decades of decay either triggered or abetted by some of the latter day/born-again messiahs today traversing Nigeria’s political landscape. But surely, the relatives and friends of those who lost their lives on some of the country’s major roads, left in a state of perpetual disrepair in spite of the gargantuan sums budgeted for them, would NOT agree that Jonathan has done NOTHING. They would rather wish that he had come earlier.

Take the Benin-Sagamu Expressway for instance. In December 2010, I drove on that road from Lagos with my family enroute my village for Xmas. We spent 10 hours from Lagos to Benin. No, I wasn’t driving a trailer. It was a Nissan Ultima which was in good condition when we left Lagos but was making all kinds of Atilogu noise by the time we got to Benin, having skidded into mortal potholes, waded in and out of chocolate-coloured swimming pools in the middle of the road and hugged some boulders on the shoulders of the road. I don’t want to mention the menace of miscreants practically forcing you to part with some tip because they were putting all sorts of rubbish in the potholes to make them ‘passable’ or ill-fated beggars (bless them) congregating at the numerous gridlocks to beg for alms.

OVIA RIVER STRETCH
Works Minister Mike Onolememen explaining to the tour team the extent of work done on both sides of the Ovia River to stop the perennial carnage

Last year, I drove on the same road from Lagos to Benin. I deliberately timed myself and made it in 4 hours, including about 30 minutes lunch break at Ore. But this is not even the point. About the time of my first trip, a group of lecturers of Igbinedion University Okada perished in the Ovia River on the Benin end of the road, a few kilometres from Okada, after being swept into the river by the heavily flooded road. That particular slopey and snaky stretch of the road had previously claimed hundreds of lives. What emotion would friends and families of those victims feel when they pass through there now?

I was on the 2013 National Good Governance Tour to the South South Zone and took pictures of some FG projects. One of them was the stretch of road referred to here, so this is not a case of conjecture. But amazingly, some people would see this and still insist Jonathan has done NOTHING. Some drive through it and refuse to see it even though they are not blind or perhaps they are suffering from some kind of blindness we are not familiar with.

Call me a GEJ apologist if you will but I owe you no apology for stating FACTS. I wish we would all discard sentiments and stick to FACTS! Let the supporters of whichever candidate show us PROOF of their accomplishments, past or present, rather than harass us with some sanctimonious sermons and utopian expectations.

Have your say. You are entitled to it and nobody will witch-hunt, arrest or detain you for it. People who value freedom of expression count this as one of the greatest attractions of this dispensation.

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