BENIN/AUCHI HIGHWAY BROUHAHA….Not yet Eldorado
By: Oriaifoh Godwins
The recent protest by the Youths of Esan land, where the Federal government’s attention, as well as the attention of contractor handling the Benin/Auchi Highway project was drawn to the sorry state of the road is a very commendable one and kudos must be given to the youths of Esanland for flogging the government and the contractor, Dantata and Sawoe into line, as we are currently living in a country where the government is completely insensitive to the plight of the governed. Once again, BRAVO! To the youths of Esanland.
As the storm over the protest appears to have subsided, as a result of the appearance on site of the contractor, is it wise at this time for Esan people to thumb up to the government and congratulate them for heeding the request of the people? Can the people of Esanland now go back to their tents believing it’s all over and it is well? In my candid opinion, the answer to these questions is NO! This is because, according to the late reggae legend, Robert Nesta Marley, aka Bob Marley; “…………….. When you think its peace and safety, a sudden destruction comes……. In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty…” We must therefore all put our hands on deck as collective security must be assured…….
Security of lives and properties extends beyond what the police and other security agencies are commissioned to do, it extends to good roads, good and safe drinking water, employment and income generation to the teeming youths, etc.
Therefore, though, the President of Esan Youths Organization, Comrade Ohens Kingsley, in his recent comment with respect to the development on the Benin/Auchi highway, appears to point to the fact that all is well, as the contractors has returned to site, he should however, now organize his youth organization, Esan Liberation Movement, Concern Ekpoma Eminent Stakeholders Forum CEESF, Iruekpen Youths and other youth bodies in ensuring that the contractors follow through the work and not eventually abandon it halfway as they do in other parts in the country where similar situation exist.
Again, Comrade Kingsley Ohens, and the members of Esan Youths Organization, Esan Liberation Movement, Concern Ekpoma Eminent Stakeholders Forum CEESF, Iruekpen Youths and other youth bodies must be at high alert now than ever, to ensure that the palliative measure that is currently being done on the Ekpoma axis of the Benin/Auchi express way does not end there, as final stage is the dualization of the road.
Esan Youths must be put on notice that, it is being rumored that the Edo central axis of the road is to be boycotted as a result of certain claims that the government is expected to pay to owners of structures that are currently on the right of way of the design of the highway. This rumour should not be waved aside.
Furthermore, Esan youths must make the contractors to understand that, the Ekpoma axis of the failed portion, is only one part where the ongoing palliative is urgently needed, as the Irrua axis of the road that stretches from Ebhoakhuala, to after Ewu Monastery, must also be attended to, otherwise, the problems of gridlock on the road will only be shifted to the Irrua/Ewu axis of the Benin/Auchi highway.
Esan Youths must understand that there is currently “a tide in the affairs of Esanland …” and this tide must be well managed so as to yield the desired results.
Yes, moles and betrayals may eventually rear their ugly heads as this new awareness manifest. Yes, some politicians and people of cheap moral values may eventually want to derail the process, but the youths must be smarter enough to put all machineries and strategies in place to frustrate the efforts of such shameless individuals.
Finally, Esan Youths must be ready more than ever before to grab the bull by its horns to ensure that the attention of the government as well as all relevant agencies and authorities is drawn to other pertinent issues like dilapidated school structures, health facilities, security etc. that has and is continually making living difficult for the ordinary Esan men and women, as it is not yet Eldorado and In the abundance of water, people can no longer be thirsty.