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Eleme Fire: East-West Road rehabilitation not the cause of accident – Minister of Works

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The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has refuted allegations linking the ongoing rehabilitation of the Eleme section of the East-West Road in Rivers State to the tragic incident that claimed five lives last Friday.

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has refuted allegations linking the ongoing rehabilitation of the Eleme section of the East-West Road in Rivers State to the tragic incident that claimed five lives last Friday.

Speaking to journalists during a visit to the scene of the tanker fire in Eleme, Umahi denounced claims attempting to tie the road project to the accident.

Umahi, however, expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and the people of Rivers State, acknowledging the irreparable loss caused by the tragedy.

He particularly criticised remarks from an individual purportedly representing the Ogoni group, labelling them as “careless and inciting” and distancing the construction company and the federal government from responsibility.

According to Umahi, the accident resulted from the recklessness of two drivers engaged in a dangerous competition for right-of-way, ultimately leading to a collision with a trailer and a tanker carrying fuel.

He called for increased vigilance by the Federal Road Safety Commission to monitor drivers for substance abuse, highlighting the role of intoxicants in such accidents.”I think that the Federal Road Safety Commission should mount several checkpoints to examine people against’ Mkpuru-mir’ (local hard substance) and hard drugs because only only ‘Mkpuru-mir’ and hard drugs can make you use your life to compete; it is unfortunate” he said.

While dismissing any connection between the road project’s progress and the accident, Umahi pledged to ensure the swift completion of construction sections and praised the quality of work being done.

He reiterated President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to timely road project completion and assured that contractors would adhere to the stipulated timelines.” It’s in line with the policy of Mr. President that contractors will not stay beyond two years in any road project,” Umahi affirmed.

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