The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has advised the Minister for Works, Housing and Power, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola and the Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to put public interest over the whatever rivalry that may exist between them.
This was made known through the Executive Chairman of the Centre, Mr. Debo Adeniran following the recent media exchanges between the duo over the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, (MMIA ROAD).
Ambode on Thursday had accused the Ministry of Works for frustrating the efforts of the Lagos State government in reconstructing the road linking the MMIA from Oshodi. Fashola, the immediate past Governor of Lagos state who responded today that the Ministry had taken up the request by the Lagos State Government in question and presented it to the Federal Executive Council and that since the road interjects with Ogun State, decision cannot be made outside the consent of the Ogun State Government.
Mr. Adeniran said, “The state of the Airport road is an embarrassment and this confusion will only aggravate the pains of Nigerians and foreigners who ply the road. MMIA has been in a serious state of continual deterioration for long, it does not measure up to being a road leading to a local airport let alone an International one, so why should we wait till the road become a total write-off before taking action.”
“The importance of the MMIA road as an entry point to Nigeria and Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of the country cannot be overemphasized. Nigerians and foreigners have had various harrowing experiences plying that road. People have missed uncountable important flights; lost business opportunities worth billions of naira, had avoidable accidents, suffered armed robbery attacks and of course the constant traffic gridlock on the road owing to the deplorable state of the road.”
“All these, we feel should be more important to the Governor, the Minister and the Federal government rather than egotism, petty rivalry and politicking. We feel as result of the status of the road as one of the roads to MMIA, government would hasten to act even if it has to abandon temporarily some bureaucratic requirements because the situation is actually an emergency.”
“We wonder why the consent of Ogun state should stop the intention of Lagos state to take over its side of the road for reconstruction. That excuse is very inconsiderate and insensitive to the losses being incurred economically and personally by the country and the people.”
“The logical thing is for FEC, the Ministry of Works and all other bureaucracies involved to do, is to give approval to each state that declares capacity to fix federal roads within their respective states as long as they do not cross each others’ borders. After all, it is government at work and not personalities, and in this case the 2 states concerned are governed by the same party just as the FG, and this we feel should reduce friction amongst the elected and appointed officials!”
“We cannot continue to put the lives of so many people at risk by putting them at the mercy of avoidable accidents, stressful traffic jams, armed-robbery attacks and other dangers because of the slow process of decision making amongst people in authorities. A stitch in time saves nine. We call for all pending road projects to be executed within the soonest possible time to save lives and boost the economy. We demand that the government and our public officials whether elected or appointed should place public interest above any other interest at all times. That is what they were elected or appointed for primarily.” Mr. Adeniran concluded