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Nigeria: What an irresponsible country!

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Should there be a ranking of countries on irresponsibility, Nigeria will surely come first. I have been to over 40 countries and has not seen a country as irresponsible as Nigeria, not even Haiti during the time the earth shrugged her shoulders – earthquake. I was in that country immediately after the quake and can attest that in spite of the national trauma, their government showed concern for the suffering of her people.

Who has passed through the Niger-Bridge recently? It may sound incredible, but the truth is that Nigerians spend an average of 6-8 hours trying to cross from Asaba to Onitsha. The Onitsha side is ok, but Asaba side is “transportative” hell. We must continue to thank Mr Peter Obi for expanding the Onitsha axis that made it immune to traffics: this is called responsible leadership.

Even those that travel by air is constrained to equally spend hours, except they may start arranging helicopter hire to mitigate the disaster.

After seeing what Nigerians undergo, one is constrained to ask how our leaders think and what is often the subject of their thoughts. How do they sleep soundly amid this crazy and revolutionary-triggering suffering?

Because of traffics, vehicles line up the Niger Bridge. We were affected today and I asked to follow commuters what would be the case if the bridge caved in. Yes, this is an ever-present possibility. Why would the Road Safety not to stay at the foot of the bridge and make sure that vehicles are not allowed to be clustered there, especially against the alarm raised about the condition of the bridge? Constructed immediately after the civil war, did the Engineers envisage the traffics it carries today? What of the reported shaking and the rusty joints and bolts?

Whatever is causing the Asaba problem ought to be solved by a responsible government. How would a person we call or who calls himself a leader sleep soundly while those he is supposed to lead sleep in traffics?

Meanwhile, before Asaba, there is usually another terrible traffics that keep commuters over 2 hours at Ore.

There are also countless checkpoints along the road. Though designed as security measures against increasing banditry on the highway, the Nigerian factor has turned them into terror groups.

What of Customs’ Check Points? Today, from Lagos to Onitsha has over 15 Customs Check Points. What they do is that sometimes, after being delegated to stay at a point, they divide themselves into 2 or three and stay about 1 kilometre apart. Once one checkpoint is crossed, they inform the other by phone to get ready for there own collection. They harass people transporting used vehicles, even when the law says one could use those vehicles for some months before even licensing. It is only an irresponsible government that would pretend these things do not happen.

Some of the checkpoints are Shagamu 1 and 2, Ijebude toll gate, Ijebude Town (2 Customs); Ore (2 Customs post), Benin toll gate (2 customs post), Benin Bypass (2), Agbor, Umunede, Asaba.

What do they do? Checking particulars of used vehicles as if those vehicles fell from heaven. If they discover any was not properly cleared do they look for the customs office that cleared it? No. After somebody would have had his way and bring in foreign goods such as rice, you stay on the road and harass those who are taking 1 bag of rice home, when you have failed to do your fundamental work.

It was after Mr Peter Obi raises alarm about the menace of customs that they pretended to act by dishing out directives, including the closure of illegal checkpoints, that were not implemented even for one minute.

Are we, really a country? The root causes of revolution are serious with us. The irresponsibility of Government at all levels is getting to the nerves!.

Write up by Mr Valentine Obienyem.

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