Rivers senator, reps protest against abandonment of East-West road

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National Assembly members from Rivers State have staged a protest against the abandonment of the Onne-Rumuokwuri section of the East-West road by the Federal Government.

The lawmakers said the abandonment of the project was responsible for the deterioration of an old bridge at Akpajo, Eleme. Leader of the protest yesterday, Senator Barry Mpigi (PDP, Rivers East), accused the Federal Government of deliberately abandoning the road, thus endangering the lives of road-users.

Mpigi said it was disheartening that the government could abandon the road leading to key national assets such as the Port Harcourt Refinery, Indorama Petrochemical, Notore Fertiliser Company, Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone with hundreds of companies, Naval College, and the Nigerian Ports Authority terminals.

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“It is like the people of Rivers have been abandoned. This is a Federal Government road; it is not a Rivers government road. This (Akpajo) bridge, as we talk, is shaking and there is tendency that at any moment from now the economic life of this area will be cut off. The question we must ask is, are we really part of Nigeria? Are we enjoying our tax-payers’ money?

“We are protesting to show Nigerians that we have been cut off from all the benefits we are supposed to be enjoying,” Mpigi said.The senator claimed that there had been budgetary allocation to fund the project, which was awarded to RCC by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

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Similarly, Okey Chinda, representing Obio-Akpo constituency in the House of Representatives, accused the Federal Government of insensitivity to the plight of the Niger Delta region.

Chinda explained that they were compelled to embark on the protest to bring the plight of the people to the fore.He added that more serious reactions would follow government’s failure to address the issue expeditiously.

“The lives of our people are at risk. We are concerned about what will happen if the bridge collapses with people on it. We want to prevent any hazard that will likely occur because of the negligence of the Federal Government,” he said.

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