Commercial activities and Vehicular movement were halted for several hours today when Residents and Motorists of Ondo and Ekiti states staged a protest against the abandonment of Akure –Ado Ekiti federal road by Dantata & Sawoe, the contractors handling the road project after being awarded and mobilised by the Federal government in 2020.
The protest which lasted for over three hours paralyzed vehicular movement along the road linking the two states.
The protesters who carried different placards called on President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate and sanction those behind the corruption surrounding the award of the contract.
Speaking on behalf the protesters, Comrade Niyi Majofodun lamented that since the Akure – Ado Ekiti road had been awarded, the contractor had not carried out any serious work on the road.
Comrade Majofodun alleged that the contractor alongside some public servants were frustrating President Buhari’s efforts after the road project had been awarded for over twenty-two billion naira to the company handling it without moving to the site.
According to him, the dilapidated road had turned to den of kidnappers and armed robbers while many lives had lost, hence the need for President Buhari to act urgently on the road rehabilitation.
Some motorists who spoke journalists while being held for hours also called on the Federal government to address the grievances of the protesters as the Akure – Ado Ekiti road was becoming not motorable on daily basis.
Majofodun said “We want to commend the effort of President Buhari (GCFR ) on the road infrastructural projects across the country and especially in the south west of Nigeria. When Mr. president announced the readiness of the Federal Government through the Minister of Works to dualise this road the states of Ondo and Ekiti did not hide their joy and the overwhelming jubilation expressed by the users of the road but however became very sad when the road was awarded to Dantata & Sawoe.
“The fear of the people was their doubts in the performance of Dantata & Sawoe which is a reflection of what we are witnessing today.
“The dualization of Akure – Ado Ekiti road was awarded to Dantata & Sawoe in 2020 and subsequently got mobilized in November 2020 however, the contractor refused to move to site untill few days ago after our organization had petitioned the office of the Director-General of BPP over the abandonmenmet of the project. Copy of the petition letter is hereby attached.
“It’s our view and obvious to all and sundry that President Buhari GCFR is not an enemy of the south rather the Contractor’s and Public servant’s, who are bent on frustrating his efforts.
“For instance, the Dualization of Akure – Ado Ekiti road project awarded in 2020 by the President for Twenty two billion, six hundred and sixty three million, four hundred and fifty one thousand, three hundred and three naira, sixty on e kobo (N22, 663,451,303.61) to Dantata & Sawoe Company with reasonable amount of mobilization which was however abandoned by the said company.
“We have done our findings and have informed the appropriate quarters about this development for further actions.
“Gentlemen of the the Press, it is on record that killings, kidnappings, robberies, raping and terrible motor accident have become uncontrollable on the said road (Akure – Ado Ekiti).
“We cannot afford to die in silence, we want to strongly appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to please look into this matter as a matter of urgency. We also express our displeasure at the manners at which Director General ( BPP) awarded the road.
“Mr. President should not allow his name to be dragged into the mud on this matter since he had performed his Constitutional right by awarding the contract and subsequently mobilized the contractor. Therefore, he must ensure his directive is complied with and carry out.
“The President may wish to review this contract without delay as Dantata & Sawoe continue to demonstrate unwillingness to perform .
“The contract should be revoked to save the life of the road ushers. The road is expected to be delivered within 30months of award and up till now no sophisticated equipment is seen on ground. Presidential directive is needed for investigation/disciplinary actions where needed.”