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FG suspends fifth section of East-West road

By Anietie Akpan, Calabar
27 May 2022   |   4:02 am
Federal Government has rested for now plans to construct section five of the East-West road from Oron to Calabar due to a reviewed cost of over N400 billion.

Federal Government has rested for now plans to construct section five of the East-West road from Oron to Calabar due to a reviewed cost of over N400 billion.

The President Muhammadu Buhari administration, through the immediate past minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, had vowed three years ago to complete the entire road from Warri to Calabar within the lifespan of the administration but giving current situation on ground that may not happen.

Soliciting for votes from delegates on Wednesday night in Calabar, Akpabio who is a presidential aspirant under the All Progressives Congress (APC), said it was possible to link Calabar with Oron but the contract that “was signed under former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani, by the Federal Executive Council, and that was supposed to be the fifth section of the East-West road, starting from Oron to Calabar with 13km of bridge and about 10km of road.”

“But the story was that it ended on Hawkins Street, where you have the cemetery and that people protested that there were so many things to be touched. The Federal Executive Council signed that contract at the cost of N265 billion but I think your son, I am not criticising him, reviewed it to about N400 billion and so that contract was rested.”

He said if elected President, the road would be ready as “it is time for you to move from Calabar to Oron and get your fresh fish and come back here and get your crayfish.”

Speaking on the controversial ceding of 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom, an issue that has always been a bone of contention between the two states, Akpabio said: “As governor of Akwa Ibom State for eight years, there was never a time in my life that I took Cross River State to court; instead I fought against it. But politicians will not tell you the truth because they have to tell you something to make sure you vote them into power. I advised against going to court. 40 per cent of Calabar is made up of Akwa Ibom people, so why fight one another.

“I wrote a letter to the then president and said whatever Cross River State was getting on the oil wells, continue to pay them, and the sum of N18.6 billion was deducted from Akwa Ibom’s money and sent to the government of the day in Cross River State at that time. But still, your government decided to go to court.