The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi state has taken a swipe at the former governor and Minister of Works, David Umahi, over his insistence on adopting concrete technology for the construction of federal roads.
The Ebonyi PDP said they acknowledged he was an engineer, but then all his work as a governor of the state in the work sector was nothing to write home about.
The PDP’s reaction is a sequel to Umahi’s claim that the concrete roads he built as governor of the state would last 50 years, and, therefore, his insistence that federal roads should adopt the technology.
The minister, at his maiden press briefing, recently said contractors who opt for asphalt instead of concrete must give a guarantee that the road would last, noting that concrete roads would last for 50 years.
He stated, “What we are saying to all contractors is that they have two choices to make. Choice number one, you must begin to do our roads according to the design, which means that if the shelf life of our roads is 30 years, you must ensure that they last 30 years and you give us an indemnity for that. If you are already committed to asphalt, you must also commit to the durability of the roads without excuse.
“Nobody is going to be forced to do concrete roads; my own is that Nigerians must get value for their taxes, that we must minimise the suffering of Nigerians.”
However, in its reaction, the Ebonyi PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Chika Nwoba, said some of the road projects Umahi boasted about in the state had started to deplete a few months after he left office.
He noted, “It’s no doubt that Engr David Umahi has some experience in construction engineering, but we are from Ebonyi State and are direct witnesses to how he ran the works sector as governor of the state of Ebonyi for eight years.
“During his reign as governor of Ebonyi State, hunger reigned supreme in the state. His projects suffered dilapidation just a few months to, and after leaving office. One of the shocking failures recorded on his self-supervised projects was the collapse of some buildings inside the Abakaliki International Market, the construction of which he personally supervised.
“When the buildings fell completely, Ebonyi people and residents were shocked. Their shock came from the fact that the governor boasted that his direct labour projects would stand the test of longevity for as long as 50 years. It will take the National Assembly or the President (Bola Tinubu) himself to dissuade him from applying direct labour and concrete pavement technology in all the construction projects his ministry is going to undertake.”