A well known Nigerian journalist and publisher, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, has delivered one of his strongest rebukes against President Muhammadu Buhari and his Federal Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, over the dilapidated federal roads under their jurisdiction, comparing them to hell on earth and challenging them to stop flying and start plying the roads most Nigerians endure every day.
Mr. Onanuga, who recently left the Federal Government funded News Agency of Nigeria for an independent media house he founded several decades ago, said traveling from the commercial city of Lagos to the capital Abuja “is hell”.
Mr. Onanuga, who has never been to hell, was referring to the hardship and choking pains Nigerians have to face on pothole-filled roads without electricity or security.
The respected journalist and publisher suggested that both President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently vacationing in London on a private visit with public money, and Fashola, who frequently flies from Abuja to Lagos, should stop flying within Nigeria and travel by road to have a bitter taste of what Nigerians are going through.
He said Nigerians were complaining all day long, and challenged the Minister of Works to make his phone number public to hear directly from the victims of their official inefficiencies.
“Minister of Works Raji Fashola predicted rightly that his claim that Nigerian roads ‘are not so bad’, will hit the headlines. I am at a loss as to why he made the claim in the first instance and further puzzled whether our hardworking minister travels on the roads that he is supposed to take care of,” Onanuga said in a Facebook post on Thursday.
He said: “I will suggest that Fashola should make his phone number and email available to Nigerians: he will be shocked how he will be inundated by complaints about the parlous state of our many critical roads in all the geographical zones.
“Travelling from Lagos to Abuja for instance is hell. Fashola should ask NTA cameramen to follow the route, to and fro and he will be palpably shocked.
“Minna to Abuja is so close. Let Fashola and his officials go on a visit to IBB and Abdulsalami at the Hill Top. Ore-Benin has gone bad again. People are complaining everyday and everywhere about the poor state of the roads.
“I am from Ijebu-Ode, just 100kms from Lagos. In almost one year, I have not been to my town, because going from Lekki is now unthinkable because of the bad roads, even from Lekki to Epe. Epe to Ijebu-Ode is horrible.
“Epe to Ketu is equally horrible and Ketu to Omu-Ijebu-Ode is bad. Worst of all, If I decided to go through Ketu-Itoikin-Ijebu-Ode, I will need to buy a new car. All these roads are, unfortunately, Federal Roads.
“Buhari should order his ministers to stop flying within Nigeria for one year. He himself should routinely endeavor to use the roads, to really understand the dilapidation of the roads and why the N260b capital budget for 2020 is simply laughable”.