The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Warri Correspondents Chapel, have appealed to the Federal Government to urgently fix the failed portions of the Benin-Sapele Expressway.
The Benin-Sapele Expressway, which has been in a deplorable state over the years with many lives and property lost, is critical to the economy of the country as it links four oil-producing states: Edo, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers to the north.
The NUJ chapel in a statement issued on Saturday after a tour of the dilapidating road by some members, averred that the call had become necessary to ameliorate the unending suffering motorists and commuters were being subjected to daily on the ever-busy road.
Chairman and assistant scribe of the chapel, Mr Okies Veeky and Mrs Betty Idialu, who signed the statement, disclosed that members of the chapel had carried out a tour of the road to ascertain the degree of its deplorable state following the persistent outcries by motorists.
The NUJ Warri Chapel noted that some sections of the road were at the verge of total collapse and could sever Edo State from Delta State if urgent steps were not taken to reverse the trend.
The NUJ identified spots such as the stretch between Koko Junction in Delta State and parts of Ologbo in Edo State where over 20 lives were reportedly lost a fortnight ago when a fuel-laden truck crashed into a bad portion of the road and caught fire.
“As a union, we can no longer keep mute while the Federal Government continues to neglect the only access road that links the West to the South-South region of the country.
“The earlier government intervenes the better,” the statement read in part.
The journalists recalled how some motorists had been spending days on some bad spots of the road in spite of the pledge to fix it by the embattled Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) after inauguration early 2020.
Decrying the deplorable state of the road, a truck driver simply identified as Mr Tunde, who was conveying goods from Port Harcourt to Kano, but had his truck stuck in one of the bad portions of the road, said most drivers now spend days stuck on the road.
“I have spent almost one week in this Ologbo village because my truck ran into a ditch.
“I have been sleeping under the cold since, waiting for another truck that will tow mine own from this ditch. I want to plead with the Federal Government to please come to our aid.
“Government is the only one we can cry to; we are really suffering and also losing money on this road,” he lamented.
The NUJ, therefore, appealed to the FG, particularly the Minister of Works, Mr Raji Fashola, to intervene before further lives are property are lost to road crashes and bandits.
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