On our roads, our minds, on a path of cleansing, I write thus:
What better way is there to describe the state of our roads and the barefaced callous rape of our right to have decent ones? It seems everything and everyone is working against the provision of good roads and good road network. From the Shagamu-Ore-Benin Express Road, Abuja-Kano-Maiduguri Express Road to Lagos-Ibadan Express Road, no tangible/visible progress can be said to have been made on any of these three while over one hundred and sixteen billion naira contracts have been approved by the Federal Executive Council for their rehabilitation.
The questions begging answers should be:
- Are these white elephant projects?
- Have these contracts been awarded?
- Are the contractors competent?
- Are funds being disbursed and utilized appropriately according to the terms of the project?
- Are there assigned milestones/timelines and are they been monitored accordingly?
Questions, questions and more questions, yet not a single answer!
Sometime in October 2011, senator Ayogu Eze said and I quote; “We must get our roads right if we must attract foreign investors into the country.” This must have informed the decision for the award of the repair project with the Lagos-Ibadan road chosen as the pilot project awarded July 2011 to a construction firm, Bi-Courtney Construction. The minister of works further emphasized at the commissioning ceremony that; “For the government, this road is important as it is the busiest express road in the country”. The expectation of the country and Nigerians in the least is to see visible changes on the road before the next raining season, according to Victorson Agbenson in his editorial commentary titled “The State Of Nigerian Roads And Contracts Execution”. Another raining season is here, progress is nothing to write about.
What are all these fuss about roads and its derelict state anyway?
The awful and dreadful state of Nigerian roads has occasioned major loss of lives ensuing from repeated vehicular accidents which are oftentimes ghastly. It was reported that former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, in a lecture recently described Nigerian roads as “worse than those in war devastated Iraq and Afghanistan” If that be the case, our situation is pitiable!
Like our roads, a great lot has happened to our minds, it is in a state of utmost disrepair, it begs for a renewing as well as cleansing. I advise you don’t contract a Bi-Courtney to deal with yours! Little wonder I find a matching in the two, the state of our roads and our minds! And there is a point where the two even meet; when you are driving, Eureka!
I will tell you, it’s our mind, our selfish mind which keeps telling us to steal, to kill and to destroy! Steal the money, kill the business and destroy the economy! Sounds similar to something you have heard somewhere?
It is our mind that tells us even as bad as the road is not to give way to the other driver. It is in our mind that we throw caution into the air and put a vehicle that is not roadworthy on the road. It is in our mind that we decide to drive one-way despite the traffic-sign. It is in our mind that we decide to jump/beat traffic lights. It is in our mind that we decide a lot of things and you know why? It is the state of our minds just like the state of our roads! A good book says somewhere that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it”
How different is our mind from our heart? My best attempt at explaining this is “The heart plans it, the mind actions it”
Keep your heart with all diligence; cleanse your mind while at it. Because out of them both comes the issues of life, your life, our lives!