Much Ado About Airport Road Project!

Much Ado About Airport Road Project!

Much Ado About Airport Road Project!

On assumption of office in 2008, Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, left no one in doubt that the Airport Road, a major gateway to Benin City, the state capital, was one of his prime projects sitting atop others in terms of priority.

Among other things, he was emphatic that its old dilapidated ambience did not speak well of a state in need of investments that will help overhaul its economy.

In truth, the road leading to the airport, beginning from the historic Ring Road, now Kings Square, was in such a bad state that as the first real image of a state in quest of real economic development, merely beholding it could induce would-be investors into doubting the seriousness of the state government’s avowed commitment to its investment drive.

In other words, if one was to seriously consider the importance of first impression, there was no doubt that on seeing the state of the road, would-be investors would pass an on-the-spot vote of no confidence on the state government’s investment drive.

The road was important for another reason. Benin City was, before the coming of the Oshiomhole administration, a sight to behold whenever it rained.

The situation was so bad that an average rainfall would, for hours on end, bring the metropolis to a standstill due largely to the fact that it had insufficient drainage system to evacuate the deluge into the Ogba and Ikpoba rivers, its major exit routes. For these obvious reasons, the administration decided to leave nothing to chance in its determination to reconstruct the road by making it functionally relevant both as an erosion evacuation route and a welcoming sight.

Hence, there was no need for the services of a rocket scientist to conceive it as a dual carriage way, complete with huge drainage channels, walkways and other niceties that would make it serve those relevant purposes. But opponents of the Oshiomhole administration, mostly members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, went to town with loads of rumour concocted to undermine not just the relevance of the project, but also to create the impression that the Governor had nothing but contempt for the culture, tradition and indeed, the entire Bini people.

First, they went to town with the grossly debilitating and unfounded tale that in reconstructing the road in the  manner the state government envisaged, a large chunk of the wall bordering the palace of Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolor, Oba Erediauwa, the revered Benin monarch, would needlessly, be hacked down.

Bent on whipping up ethnic sentiment against the government and in particular, the Governor, they concluded that the action, deliberately designed by him, amounted to a taboo no sane true born of the land should condone as it is contemptuous of the Benin culture, tradition and race.

In other words, they were desperate to also create the impression Oshiomhole had no regard for the same people that made it possible for him to become governor in the first instance. But for the intervention of the monarch who gave his go-ahead, having received assurances that no such demolition plan was in the offing, the reconstruction would probably have become a still birth.

Not fazed by their failure to whip up ethnic sentiments, they cooked up more caustic tales. Though each was dismissed with a measure of ignominy reserved for outcasts, they managed to hold on to their claim that state government officials deliberately over inflated the contract by designing it as a conduit for sucking life out of state funds.

To give credence to their claims, they attempted to force the people into accepting their position by harping the delay in its completion, caused primarily by the unwarranted demand by the first contractor for an upward review of agreed contract cost as a proof that the project was a white elephant project. So pervasive was the claim that it became a campaign issue during the 2011 governorship election.

- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/07/much-ado-about-airport-road-project/#sthash.GNYC53h8.dpuf

On assumption of office in 2008, Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, left no one in doubt that the Airport Road, a major gateway to Benin City, the state capital, was one of his prime projects sitting atop others in terms of priority.

Among other things, he was emphatic that its old dilapidated ambience did not speak well of a state in need of investments that will help overhaul its economy.

In truth, the road leading to the airport, beginning from the historic Ring Road, now Kings Square, was in such a bad state that as the first real image of a state in quest of real economic development, merely beholding it could induce would-be investors into doubting the seriousness of the state government’s avowed commitment to its investment drive.

In other words, if one was to seriously consider the importance of first impression, there was no doubt that on seeing the state of the road, would-be investors would pass an on-the-spot vote of no confidence on the state government’s investment drive.

The road was important for another reason. Benin City was, before the coming of the Oshiomhole administration, a sight to behold whenever it rained.

The situation was so bad that an average rainfall would, for hours on end, bring the metropolis to a standstill due largely to the fact that it had insufficient drainage system to evacuate the deluge into the Ogba and Ikpoba rivers, its major exit routes. For these obvious reasons, the administration decided to leave nothing to chance in its determination to reconstruct the road by making it functionally relevant both as an erosion evacuation route and a welcoming sight.

Hence, there was no need for the services of a rocket scientist to conceive it as a dual carriage way, complete with huge drainage channels, walkways and other niceties that would make it serve those relevant purposes. But opponents of the Oshiomhole administration, mostly members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, went to town with loads of rumour concocted to undermine not just the relevance of the project, but also to create the impression that the Governor had nothing but contempt for the culture, tradition and indeed, the entire Bini people.

First, they went to town with the grossly debilitating and unfounded tale that in reconstructing the road in the  manner the state government envisaged, a large chunk of the wall bordering the palace of Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolor, Oba Erediauwa, the revered Benin monarch, would needlessly, be hacked down.

Bent on whipping up ethnic sentiment against the government and in particular, the Governor, they concluded that the action, deliberately designed by him, amounted to a taboo no sane true born of the land should condone as it is contemptuous of the Benin culture, tradition and race.

In other words, they were desperate to also create the impression Oshiomhole had no regard for the same people that made it possible for him to become governor in the first instance. But for the intervention of the monarch who gave his go-ahead, having received assurances that no such demolition plan was in the offing, the reconstruction would probably have become a still birth.

 

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