Home Politics Peter Obi Criticizes Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Project

Peter Obi Criticizes Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Project

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By Uche Amunike

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi, has criticized the ongoing Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Project, yet again, describing it as unnecessary.

Recall that Obi earlier faulted the commencement of the multi-trillion Naira coastal highway project, at a time when most of the internal roads in the country were obstructed.

Speaking, through a statement signed by his media aide, Tanko Yunusa, the former Anambra State governor stated that Nigerians would become the victims and millions of jobs would be lost, just like people’s properties.

He condemned the kick off of the controversial coastal highway, on his official X handle, yesterday, stating that it went contrary to the dictates of reason and the need for compassion in the pursuit of public policy.

He stated: ‘The outcry against this project has been overwhelming because it contrasts with the prevailing situation in the country at this time. However, reports as of Monday indicate that demolition of businesses and residences in the designated right of way for the project has commenced from the Lagos end.’

He further stated: ‘The sight of this insensitive demolition is, for me, heart-wrenching. As we watch this tragic theatre, livelihoods are being wiped away. Lifetime investments are being laid to waste while jobs are evaporating as the bulldozers roar.’

‘Habitations of the aged are being overturned by bulldozers of power. This hasty flag-off is in utter defiance of widespread outcry by the public, especially business and property owners whose investments are directly affected by this project.’

‘No one knows the outcry that I’ll herald this project as it progresses towards poor rural landscapes. Thousands of jobs are about to be wiped out while in one case investments above $200 million are about to be lost. Over 100,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector face clear and instant extinction.’

He condemned the government’s s kick-off of a project that will end up making people lose jobs, as over 80 small businesses are threatened with about 4000 youths likely to lose their jobs, at this time that unemployment has eaten deep into the fabric of the nation.

His words: ‘The economic losses in view only have to do with the first few kilometres in the Lagos end. But the 700 km of this road will traverse rural areas where those to be affected have neither voice, power, or influence to press their rights.’

‘Significant sections of the public have questioned the process that preceded the approval of this project. The government has turned deaf ears to voices of reason and caution.’

According to Peter Obi, this is the proper time to interrogate the rationale and timing of this project and other similar ones that are being contemplated by the Tinubu-led government of Nigeria.

He concluded: ‘I would like to be placed on record as one citizen who raised his voice to vehemently oppose this government’s penchant to misplace our national priorities at a moment of national emergency of an existential nature.’

‘It is not too late to discontinue the Lagos-Calabar highway project. We can ill afford yet another expensive abandoned project. Above all, Nigeria’s urgent development needs are more real in areas that touch the lives of our citizens. We do not need escapades of landscape decoration.’

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