Allege contractor abandoned project 15 months after payment of mobilization
Dayo Johnson Akure
Residents of Ondo and Ekiti States have protested over the alleged abandoning of the N22 billion Akure/Ado-Ekiti dualization awarded over 15 months ago by the Federal government.
They trooped out to the lgboba axis of the highway in Akure metropolis to show their displeasure over the deplorable state of the road and lack of commitment on the part of starting the project.
The residents under the aegis of Great Patriot for Better Initiative (GPBI) accused the contractor of failing to move to the site15 months after mobilization was paid by the government for the dualization of the road.
According to them ” the state of the road has continued to aid activities of criminals engaging in kidnappings and killing.
They displayed placards of various inscriptions such as “Too much kidnapping and raping on Akure/Ado- Ekiti road, Buhari is not our enemy but public officers, Gov Fayemi/ Akeredolu may not be happy with the slowness of Akure/ Ado Ekiti road project and Revoke Akure/ Ado Ekiti road contract from Dantata& Sawoe.
Other placards read “Mr President must investigate N22b Akure/ Ado- Ekiti abandoned project by Dantata & Sawoe, Dantata & Sawoe is frustrating the effort of Mr President on-road infrastructural dev., Mr President is trying but contractors are frustrating his effort, Fix our road, save our soul. Akure/ Ado Ekiti road is now a death trap and Too many killings and robberies on Akure-Ado-Ekiti road.
Speaking during the protest, the head of Project Monitoring of GPBI, Comrade Niyi Majofodun, the project as a matter of urgency should be revoked from the contractor, Dantata and Sawoe.
With the highway barricaded during the protest, Mojofodun said that “the dualization of Akure – Ado Ekiti road was awarded to Dantata & Sawoe in 2020 and subsequently got mobilized in November 2020 however, the contractor refused to move to the site until a few days ago after our organization had petitioned the office of the Director-General of BPP over the abandonment of the project.
“It is on record that killings, kidnappings, robberies, raping and terrible motor accident have become uncontrollable on the said road (Akure–Ado Ekiti).
“We cannot afford to die in silence, we want to strongly appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to please look into this matter as a matter of urgency. We also express our displeasure at the manners at which Director General ( BPP) awarded the road.
“Mr. President should not allow his name to be dragged into the mud on this matter since he had performed his Constitutional right by awarding the contract and subsequently mobilized the contractor. Therefore, he must ensure his directive is complied with and carry out.
“The President may wish to review this contract without delay as Dantata & Sawoe continue to demonstrate unwillingness to perform.
“The contract should be revoked to save the life of the road ushers. The road is expected to be delivered within 30months of award and uptil now no sophisticated equipment is seen on ground.
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for road infrastructural projects across, the group appealed he should not allow the contractors to soil his reputation.
“It’s our view and obvious to all and sundry that President Buhari GCFR is not an enemy of the south rather the Contractor’s and Public servant’s, who are bent on frustrating his efforts.
“For instance, the Dualization of Akure–Ado Ekiti road project awarded in 2020 by the President for Twenty-two billion, six hundred and sixty-three million, four hundred and fifty-one thousand, three hundred and three naira, sixty-one kobo (N22, 663,451,303.61) to Dantata & Sawoe Company with a reasonable amount of mobilization which was however abandoned by the said company.
Speaking with newsmen, some stakeholders in the state, Prince Biyi Poroye said that the attitude of the contractor towards the project had become a huge concern, particularly that residents and motorists are going through agonies on a daily basis.
Poroye said the people of the state ” do not want a contractor that’s not willing to do the job to rubbish the good intention of the President.
He called for the revocation of the contract and that it should be giving to a willing contractor who has the capacity and the wherewithal to deliver the project in record time.
Also, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State on Citizen Engagement and Grassroot Communication, Josemaria Adeusi said “If a contractor has been mobilized 15 months ago and he has not done anything significant that we can see to attest that he is ready to work, the best to do is to revoke the contract.
On his part, the former Chairman of Akure North council area of the state, Rotimi Adeleye said that “It is quite highly embarrassing and disgusting that nothing has been done.
Adeleye added that “We are appealing to the government to come to our aid. Several lives had been lost on this road alongside several kidnappings.”
Many of the motorists and drivers plying the roads interviewed expressed disappointment in the attitude of the contractor awarded the project and pleaded with the Federal government to act decisively.