By Brave Dickson
The federal government has finally bowed to pressure by releasing some billions of naira to fix the deplorable roads in some parts of the Niger Delta Region shortly after the Niger Delta Activists Forum staged a mass protest.
Information reaching TPCN through its correspondent has it that the protest has compelled the federal government to commence the fixing of the Nkpolu axis of the East-West Road as well as some roads in Cross River, Delta and others.
Narrating how the struggle started, the National President of the Niger Delta Activists Forum, Comrade Success Jack said: “We had a mass protest in Calabar and we gave FG 21-day ultimatum and we blocked the road for three good days.
“The Minister for Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola appeared on TV saying he couldn’t reach me via my telephone line and that FG has immediately awarded N3billion to fix that Itu/Oduokpani-Calabar Highway.
“Which means it was a massive victory. Meanwhile, Julius Berger has not been given a penny for years to fix that road.
“That N3billion was just to kick start action. We followed up the matter and we sat with the Minister of State for Works and Housing at a meeting convened by Mr Babatunde Fashola and we reached an agreement that federal road constructions under the ministry will be completed within the 2020 fiscal year except for the ones that have extended life tenure.
“Later, the federal executive council released N60.3billion for the Calabar Itu Ikot Ekpene road which was a further dividend of our struggle.
“Mr Babatunde Fashola later called me and said what we agreed in the meeting; President Muhammadu Buhari has graciously assented to it.
“But that agreement did not cover the East-West Road and we issued a 7-day ultimatum to the Minister of Niger Delta, Mr Godswill Akpabio.
“We went for the protest and Akpabio deployed over 35 vans and military men to shoot us. In fact, I was ordered to be shot in the head.
“I later spoke with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva and the minister quickly called the local content board executive secretary who immediately came and fixed that bad spot of the Mbiama Road.
“As I speak to you, the Nkpolu axis of the East-West Road has been awarded for N1billion and massive work is going on now on that road among others.”