South-East And South-South Should Resist The Insult Called Repair Of Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway

By Odimegwu Onwumere


They have started work on the trepidation that is called Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway. The Federal Government (FG) had said that it was working the road to aid travellers during the yuletide season. But there are more that meet the eyes than the much touted repair of the major expressways that the peoples of the South-East and South-South – the regions that are the economic focal-point of Nigeria – have.


In the ongoing charade called Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway repair, or whatever name they have given to it, calls for rejection by the peoples of the South-East and South-South zones. This feeling is born due to the industrial politics the authorities concerned with the task are playing with the road. If what they mean, when they said that they are going to repair the road is to patch any conspicuous spot with cement and low quality materials, then the South-East and South-South peoples are being insulted.


The Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway does not need any ‘repair’ but total re-construction. The entire road is bad. There is no need cutting eye-catching damaged spots and then patch. What they are doing now on this road, can any of them swear by Amadioha that they can do same in Abuja? You go to the North there are very smooth roads there. How come they are patching the only major expressways in the South-East and South-South zones?


When President Goodluck Jonathan was fuming in rage that the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway was going to be rebuilt, one had thought that he meant to build a 21st Century expressway, owing to what the South-East and South-South zones position in the country; but from what one can see the authorities are doing on that expressway, anyone saying that the Federal Government is deceitful is not gainsaying.


Rage and anger must characterise anyone with good intention for the South-East and South-South zones on sighting what the authorities have much amplified as work that they are doing on this expressway. It is frustrating as it is also insulting, when one sees the slapdash work that they have started to do. The urgency that the two zones had warned that the Federal Government should descend on the road, what the authorities are doing on this road is below the deep drawn sighs many people had expressed on sighting equipments on the road.


The Federal Government can’t give the people who had contributed immensely to the economy of the country something that would always generate issues of good-for-nothing. Not even the citation for the creation of an additional state in the South-East in particular has the Federal Government yielded to. Is the FG doing this because the people of the two regions had always maintained undaunted resolution for the peace of all in the country?


It peaks the stipulation of the stakeholders of the two zones in any meetings that the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway should be smooth again, but this is not near what the Federal Government and its agents are doing on this road. It behooves stakeholders from these two zones to call the attention of members of the National Assembly from South-East and South-South zones to lend their governmental insights to Jonathan that what was said is not what is seen on the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway.


Jonathan can’t say that he has responded to the call of the South-East and South-South to reconstruct the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway, when what can be seen is mediocrity at display. This proves that Jonathan is not showing the same magnanimity the peoples of the two zones had shown him during his presidential elections, by giving him their votes about 95%. If the passion he would express to the people is to cast slur on them and call it road repair, then the two zones are in trouble till the expiration of his tenure.


In earnest, Jonathan’s theoretical-passion for the South-East and South-South zones is not giving them a sense of belonging. All his promises during the period of his electioneering campaigns have not been met. Rather, he has toasted the people with promises, but failed. The affirmation of this is the abuse that the FG is exhibiting on the Enugu-PH expressway. If this is like this, what will be the fate of other federal projects in the two regions?


It is a disenchantment that the Federal Government always thinks that anything it proposes for the peoples of the South-East and South-South zones can go for them, whether they like it or not. The adoption of this useless ‘repair’ on the Enugu-PH expressway should not be compromised. Especially, remembering the Igbo businessmen and women who have always lost billions of naira on this expressway. If their wares in the trucks did not fall and the goods got damaged, they would be seized in the gullies, culminating to criminals making prey of them. Those that are in-charge of the eye-service ubiquitous Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) should be questioned about the twaddle they knowingly or unknowingly feel that is going on, on the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway. Is this garbage what they promised to do when some of their members appeared before the executive session of the Assembly on September 24 to elucidate what the federal establishments are going to do on the all the crucial Enugu-PH expressway? Hokum!


It was noted that there was adequate budgetary provision for the road, but the disappointment is that there is yet to be any meaningful work to take place on the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway. If it is FERMA that is handling the work, it lacks the unruly approach to revitalising the road. The same is applicable to any current companies that are handling the work. The work that they are doing now would put the road on the path of its worse side. There is nothing tangible that they are doing there, except the arsenal of security details that have flooded the various sites, which is even out of place.


Regrettably, the agitation of many people from the South-East and South-South for a new facelift on the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway has met the bricks wall. The work that whoever is doing on that road is not enduring. There is lack of rehabilitation. Perhaps, they are doing this now to shut-up the people from speaking out on the expressway. They have drawn the peoples’ attention to say that that afterall they have come to rescue them, when what can be seen is an organised confusion. The Nigerian factor!


The South-East and South-South zones should pass a resolution to the Federal Government to mean a serious business on the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway, because the road had outlived the usual patching. And this is the ruse that they are doing on the road and are calling it rehabilitation or reconstruction. Maybe, the Federal Government wants all the people of the South-East and South-South zones to march in condemnation of the swindle it calls re-construction of the Enugu-PH expressway, just as lawyers in Aba, Abia State removed their wigs on September 18th this year and wore rain-boots and protested and registered their irritation with the authorities over this same road.


It has become very glaringly glare that the Federal Government is playing politics on its share of projects in the South-East and South-South zones, to suffer the commercial life of the peoples.  But, how good or pleasant is this! It was expected that Jonathan would accord priority to the peoples of the two zones who are just enduring perilous times Jonathan may call democracy, but he is just much busy with less effect. It is a shattered hope!


It is going to two years that Jonathan was elected as president yet the South-East and South-South zones remain neglected. But those in authorities continue to give the peoples hope with titular announcements they make at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) each week of the number of contracts that they have awarded for roads and other projects in the South-East and South-South zones, which have remained on the stage of optical-illusion.


The aggravations over the deplorable situation of federal roads in the South-East and South-South zones are worrisome. Before, it was squarely Abia State that was experiencing the awful expressway with Rivers and Enugu States passively enjoying smoothness of their side of the expressway. But today, it is a sorry tale beginning from Rivers State to Enugu State. And when shall this end?  Before, people were saying that the problem between Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State, and ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo affected the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway. So, today, whose problem is it with Jonathan that he is doing a very shoddy work on the same expressway?


Conversely, the Federal Government must enter into full reconstruction of the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway. Not patching. The South-East and South-South zones have expressed much patience in this country and deserve a quality service. The Federal Government must realise the fact that about 80% of the total Nigeria’s resources every other parts of the country are being sustained with, come from the South-East and South-South zones. The Federal Government should be in touch with reality and truth. It has severally assured the peoples of the South-East and South-South zones that it would do it and they believed, but there is disappointment today. The peoples of the South-East and South-South zones do not need motorable roads just only for the yuletide, but roads that would be smooth and enduring.


Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, Media/Writing Consultant and Motivator, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV); and Founder, Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State, Nigeria

Phone: +2348032552855 (OR) +2348057778358



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Njiko Igbo And Its Facilitation Of A Common South East position

By Odimegwu Onwumere


The call for the Igbo unity has taken another measurement. This is coming after some Igbo organisations that the Igbo affairs were put in their feet seemed to have failed. Now it is Njiko Igbo, which the ex-Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu is acting as an impermanent coordinator. The organisation is however gathering momentum not too long it was established, with nearly thirty million people as members.


No matter certain discordant voices to the visions of Njiko Igbo, which one among them is to actualise the Igbo presidency in 2015, the organisation is not relaxing in its duty, because of the Shylocks. Kalu has been consulting widely. A fortnight, he was with the Oni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sjuade, and the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe at their palaces. From Abia to Anambra, Kalu has not been relaxing in the lock-up of his comfort; he has been sojourning for this onerous task.


The exceptional aspect of the Njiko Igbo is that it is not affiliated or belonged to any political party and that Kalu has been a remarkable figure in the Nigerian politics. His campaign for the unity of the Igbo has brought accolades to him; chiefly is that Kalu is a pertinent material for championing the Igbo cause lucratively.


It is noted that Kalu is not a member of any political party at present and has equivocally retired from politics to say that he is championing this cause for self-purpose, but he is out for this Njiko Igbo project for the excellent of the Igbo pursuit. On the contrary, that the Njiko Igbo is not into partisan politics doesn’t rule out the fact that it is not against any political party in Nigeria. Investigation reveals that in its nomenclature, meeting with all the existing political parties in ala-Igbo, is paramount in its agenda. It has respect for all the meaningful institutions in Nigeria. It has equally, religious leaders, traditional institutions, and an assortment of interest groups, at heart.


During one of Kalu’s visits to the palace of Obi of Onitsha, so they say, Igwe Achebe in his observation said that the desires of Ndigbo in Nigeria can only be actualised if they are in unity. Achebe fingered the sizable investments of Ndigbo scattered across the world with infinitesimal size of them invested in ala-Igbo. Again, he regretted how armed robbery and kidnapping are becoming immune in ala-Igbo, and called on the government to checkmate these. It is noted that if the few things that Achebe outlined are addressed, it will help the Igbo to come back home and invest, whereas they can unite no matter where they have as residences. But it is observable that some powerful members of the public are playing politics with the Igbo and the government has refused to address these things, hence Kalu frowns and wants the Igbo to understand the ugly handwriting on the wall painting the Igbo in bad light for a worst future.


Having been said, the convening of Njiko Igbo by Kalu is not sycophantic, but audacious. The overconfident Kalu sees the Njiko Igbo as an all important socio-political dais for a president of Igbo mining in 2015. While few Igbo sons and daughters are playing to the gallery against this conceivable and lustrous Njiko Igbo, Kalu comes out boldly, striding to fruition with the organisation, not minding his tight schedules with his personal businesses.


Kalu is a man who is precipitous in the nucleus of Igbo qualities of progressiveness, modesty and valour. It is evident that the Igbo with their very rare enterprising features have contributed immensely to the economic growth of Nigeria. This is why there have been speculations on the real intention of the Njiko Igbo, which painted Nigeria red on Sunday, September 16th, 2012, at the Aso Villa residence, Abuja, in its presumably first National epochal meeting.


Whether the Njiko Igbo seeks to replace some titular Igbo organisations, the assertion may not be out of line, owing to the great accelerando with which Kalu is pushing the organisation forward. Though, Kalu, through one of his media aides, Emeka Obasi had snubbed the contention. In Kalu’s own words, he had said: The aims of Njiko Igbo as the name connotes, include harmonization of different interests in the South East Zone of Nigeria, facilitation of a common South East position on national issues, rekindling the spirit of political participation among the citizens at the grassroots across the zone as well as channeling such enthusiasm to positive national goals, building bridges across political tendencies in the zone and extending such bridges to other geo-political zones for the full re-integration of the zone among others.


In another category, Kalu had also simply declined news making the rounds that the Njiko Igbo is launched to be the major portal to carry on his supposedly presidential ambition come 2015. He regarded those making the teases as mischief-makers. It is not in contention that what is paramount in Kalu’s sensitivity is not the alleged ambition to contest for the presidency in 2015, but how to unite the Igbo, who happened to be in disarray due to different political pursuits and engagement in self-aggrandizement. Upon this singular and understandably notion of Kalu, yet some unhelpful-politicians from the Igbo region are not happy with it. Freshly, some of them took a dishonorable protest to the National Working Committee of the People’s Democratic Party, Abuja, to demand that Kalu should not be allowed to re-join the party, having been pioneer member of the party, but later left the party and pitched tent with another, a move the constitution does not frown at? These are the few persons among other Igbo sons and daughters who would prefer to be wallowing like a sheep without a shepherd instead they would sue for Igbo unity and rally same with action.


It is because of this type of behaviour by the few disgruntled Igbo that in his position, Kalu has at his residence on Sunday October 7th, 2012, during another meeting of the Njiko Igbo, maintained that the cooperative Igbo interest and matters will surmount all the asunder that partisan politicians and political parties are putting against the Igbo aspiration in 2015. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, when Kalu visited the place on Monday October 8th, 2012, after the meeting at his residence, the sermon that was on his lips was the call for Igbo unity, which millions of Nigerians that came to welcome him spoilt the air with ovation.


Kalu has enlightened the Igbo that there are people who are not sleeping well, because of his crusade for the Igbo presidency. These people are recruiting agents against him and the Igbo cause. It is not that they are hidden; they have also made themselves known by their comments and utterances. Some have even taken to the media as a tool to fighting Njiko Igbo. Notwithstanding, one assurance that Kalu and many others who believe in the cause of the Njiko Igbo have for them is that they should look elsewhere, because they are failing to spot the point, and might not spot the point unless they come back home before it is too late.


A moment ago, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu was in the United States of America, where he applauded Njiko Igbo as a vital tool to achieving the Igbo presidency. So, Njiko Igbo is of the essence for all Igbo sons and daughters, home and abroad, to unite. It is observed that Kalu who is putting his head and leg for the actualisation of the Igbo presidency, not in any other year but in 2015, is just a provisional coordinator of Njiko Igbo. He has refused to join any political party, because he believes that his weight cuts across the country, hence he should be neutral. And this is why all Igbo sons and daughters have to join the Njiko Igbo, not minding their different political groupings, so that the facilitation of a common South-East position in Nigeria can be a cult.


Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, Media/Writing Consultant and Motivator, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV); and Founder, Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State, Nigeria

Phone: +2348032552855 (OR) +2348057778358



Buy His Books On Amazon: and