By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—THE announcement by the Minister of State, Works Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi on the cancellation of the expansion and modernization of the Benin – Lagos Road, from Oluku to 5-Junction in Benin City has pitched the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Edo State chapter against the Minister, with the newly elected state chairman of the party, Mr. Thomas Okosun, vowing to resist any attempt to disturb the process of the reconstruction of the road.
It will be recalled that Ogiemwonyi had insisted that no matter how well in tensioned the road project was, the design and specification must be subjected to the Federal Government’s approval.
Addressing newsmen at the state secretariat of ACN in Benin City, yesterday, Mr. Okosun, expressed dismay over the decision of a son of the soil to inflict pains on his people in the name of politics.
He, therefore, appealed to the Benin monarch, other traditional rulers and market women, among others, “to put a curse on anyone or group of persons who will hinder the development of our land.”
ACN urged the state Governor, Mr Adams Oshiomhole to go ahead with the expansion of the above road, which he said has claimed many lives even as he insisted that the Governor has the mandate of the people to embark on any development project that will benefit them.
Reacting to the ACN chairman’s allegation, the Minister said it was true that the road project was actually canceled but that all the Ministry was asking for was that the design should be submitted for approval to ensure that it conform to existing expansion proposal of the Federal Government.
On the purported call to place a curse on the enemies of progress, Ogiemwonyi said the ACN Chairman, Thomas Okosun is not more of an Edo man than himself, pointing out that his mandate was to ensure the total development of the entire country, including his home state of Edo, therefore, it was a misplaced judgment for anybody to suggest the contrary.