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April 16, 2024

We’ll expedite action on N/East roads, FG assures military

We’ll expedite action on N/East roads, FG assures military

Minister of Works, David Umahi

By John Alechenu

The Minister of Works, Engr. David Umahi has assured Nigeria’s armed forces of the Federal Government’s renewed commitment to addressing the deplorable state of roads in their various theatres of operation especially in the North East.

Umahi said this while receiving the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, in his office, on Tuesday.

He explained that the President , Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Bola Tinubu , was committed to ensuring that the armed forces discharge their duties in a conducive atmosphere especially in the area of road infrastructure.

The minister also commiserated with the military high command over the loss of its officers and soldiers in various parts of the country.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Special Adviser (Media), to the minister, Hon. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji.

He quoted Umami as saying, “Let me appreciate your concerns over our roads, especially as it affects your programmes in North East.

“And let me assure you that when we get those routes and your major concerns, we are going to analyze them to know the ongoing projects among them, and then know why the projects are slow in their execution. It could be for the reason of funding.

“Everything has become a priority in our road sector development. We would like to analyze it and together we will take it to Mr. President, who has put the security of life and property ahead of any other thing.”

Umahi further said, “I’m very sure that Mr. President, as usual, will give it the desired attention. It’s not his will that any person will die for the reason of a bad road.

“So I’m reassured by the character and the content of Mr. President that something will be done. We have to get our designs and figures right, and together, we can do that.”

He also commended the military for showing restraint in dealing with communities where military personnel have been killed in recent times.

The minister said, “Let me offer my deepest condolences to you for your personnel that were brutally murdered at Okuama in Delta State while doing everything to ensure peace and security in the area.

“It’s quite very unfortunate. Let me thank Mr. President for the maturity and thank the military led by you for the maturity.

“Those personnel who were killed are children of parents. They have children, and they have wives. Our hearts go out to you, and we condemn that very terrible and barbaric act.

“We caution those who are making very unhealthy statements on the matter, as if the lives that were lost were the lives of animals”

The Honourable Minister assured the Defence Chief of the preparedness of the Ministry in addressing the concerns of the military on the conditions of roads, especially in the areas of their operations in the North East.

    Earlier, General Musa commended President Tinubu and the Minister for their commitment to making Nigeria better especially in the area of infrastructure.

    Musa said, “We are following your activities on the internet, and we know you’re almost everywhere. I want to commend you for the efforts you are putting in.

    “We know how determined you are to ensure that our roads are back. We all know that without roads, there can be no peace.

    “That’s true for rural areas and urban areas. Roads are significant and very important to the growth of any nation.

    “Despite all the challenges, we’ve seen how comments have been made, both professionally and unprofessionally, to your person, but you’ve been strong.

    “I want to encourage you, sir, that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is solidly behind you. We will continue to provide every necessary support that you require.

    “We are just a phone call away. Whatever there is, that you would want us to do for you, be rest assured, we will be there, because we know the relevance and importance of having good roads in any society.”

    The Chief of Defence Staff also appealed to the Minister to take into consideration the need for interventions on the deplorable condition of some roads in the North East where bandits are taking advantage of the poor conditions of roads in the area to defy and relegate security operations.

    The Defence Chief noted that the areas where the military were recording high casualties of both manpower and equipment, especially in Maiduguri, were the areas the bandits use Improvised Explosive Devices ( IEDs) in their attacks knowing fully well the deplorable conditions of the roads in those areas.

    He added, “So for us, roads are critical to our success in our operations. I want to appeal to you, whatever it is, whatever it takes, if we can fix most of these roads that we have, it will greatly assist us in carrying out our operations.

    “Once we have good roads, the funny thing about North East, especially Borno State, will be resolutely tackled. Most of the distances are not that long.”

    Vanguard News