New Telegraph

Umahi: Ongoing Road Rehabilitation Not Cause Of Rivers Tanker Explosion

The Minister of Works and former governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi has dismissed the news making the rounds that the ongoing rehabilitation of the Eleme section of the East-West Road in Rivers State was the reason for last Friday’s carnage which claimed five lives.

Reacting to the claims at a press conference when he led a delegation of officials of the Federal Ministry of Works to visit the scene of the tanker fire on Wednesday urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to erect checkpoints aimed at monitoring drivers who are on hard drugs and those who abuse substances, including alcoholic liquor.

Recalls that Governor Siminalayi Fubara, after receiving briefs from the relevant agencies, said five persons lost their lives, while a total of 120 vehicles were destroyed in the inferno, which he described as an avoidable carnage.

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Expressing his condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones, Umahi also sympathized with the government and people of the state over the incident which he described as unfortunate.

He, however, expressed dismay that some people were trying to abuse the good intentions of President Bola Tinubu who approved the rehabilitation of the heavily trafficked road by linking the rehabilitation work to the tragedy.

He added,  “I was informed of this unfortunate incident while I was at work in Lagos coastal route so I decided to cut short my journey and to be in Port Harcourt. Before coming I have gotten a report from the Acting Controller, Federal Ministry of Works in Rivers.

“First, my sympathy goes to all the families of the victims for the unfortunate loss which can’t be recovered by the death of their loved ones and then to the Rivers State people and government I extend my sympathy to them.”

Umahi recalled that President Tinubu on assumption of office saw the deplorable state of the road and directed that work should be started not as usual but that the road should be redesigned.

“Apart from Warri to Benin and part of Lokoja there is no other section of the road in this country that this kind of construction is going on,” he added.

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