Rights lawyer, Monday Ubani writes Tinubu, harps on Kanu’s freedom, deplorable road Infrastructure in southeast
By Chijindu Emeruwa
The immediate past chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law, NBA-SPIDEL, Dr. Monday Ubani, has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to kickstart the healing process of the southeast region by releasing the leader of the Indegenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and fixing the deplorable roads in the region.
In a letter dated July 10, 2023, Ubani commended the recent drastic measures taken by the President to tackle the numerous challenges in the country and pleaded that similar efforts should also be extended to tackling the insecurity and poor infrastructure problems in the Southeast.
He noted that for the current government to be able to execute it’s very laudable projects, all regions of the country must be carried along to foster a true sense of belonging.
The human rights lawyer said that the first step towards ensuring peace in the Southeast is a political solution to the endless incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu and advised the President to release him to the governors of the region
The letter partly read: “There are two issues that deserve urgent attention, Mr President. I crave your indulgence that you handle them fast.
“One is the indefinite detention of Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody and the attendant blood bath in the Eastern Region as a result of that long inceration and the second is the state of bad roads in the Eastern Region especially the Ikwuano/Ikot Ekpene Road, Aba/Ikot Ekpene Road, Aba/Port Harcourt Road etc.
“Your Excellency, Nnamdi Nkanu’s continued detention on ground of an appeal filed by the outgone Minister of Justice/Attorney General of the Federation that on perusal does not disclose recondite grounds of law gives me serious cause for concern.
“That the matter is not being given expeditious consideration further is very depressing. My worry is that some criminal elements in the region have latched on this to keep the entire region under serious threat of insecurity, loss of lives and all forms of criminality.
“They have further destroyed the economic prospects of the region by determining days when people shall come out to pursue their daily economic activities.
“Mr President, I plead that you employ a political solution to Kanu’s matter as a father of the nation and eradicate the current blood bath and all sorts of criminality that shape the life of the entire Eastern Region presently.
“Mazi Kanu should be released to the Governors and Leaders of the Region with understanding that he keeps the peace for the sake of the region he professes to love.
“Several governors and Leaders of the Region are ready for such a deal that will see the restoration of peace to the once bubbling region and by extension, to the country.
“Mr President, the ball is in your court to start the healing process in the Eastern Region by releasing Kanu from detention and handing him over to the leaders here in the Region.
“Deplorable Southeast Road.
On the issue of deplorable Federal Roads in the Southeast, Ubani appealed to the President to come to the rescue of the region.
He said: ” Economic activities have been grounded in the Region due to terrible road network everywhere. Some of the roads like Ikwuano/Ikot Ekpene were awarded to one Hartland Company by the last administration but unfortunately the people that pass through that road daily have not witnessed any improvement whatsoever on the state of the road despite that it was awarded since 2019.
” It is a fact that the contractor has been on the road in the guise of executing the contract but no significant job have done by them. In fact the bad portions on Ikwuano axis have become worse. Strident efforts made by patriotic stakeholders in Ikwuano LGA to find out what is causing delay in executing the contract have not yielded proper explanation as to what is the problem.
” In one instance we were told by the Ministry of Works officials that funding the project was problematic as certificates submitted are not backed with immediate cash payments from NNPC that is funding the project.
“In another we are told that the Federal Contract never made a provision for paying those whose properties are to be pulled down to enable the work to progress as mapped out. In another instance we are told that rain is the cause of the delay. All these stories are illogical, unbelievable and not cogent enough to explain what is the cause of delaying the contract that was awarded since 2019 with a tenure of 4 years.
“As I write this letter Mr President, the contractors have abandoned the road as no work is presently going on the road. The Ministry of Work officials are not offering any tangible explanation to the people why the contractor is not on the road.
“Your Excellency, I plead that you direct a neutral body to review the state of this road and give an update to your office on what is delaying the expeditious completion of the road in question in the Region. Is this delay, pure act of sabotage against the people in the region or is it a funding issue?
“If it is a just clear sign of incompetence on the part of the contractor and the Ministry of Works that awarded the contract, Your Excellency will be able to find out after an independent review is carried out. “
“It is very unfortunate that not up to 20 per cent of work has been done on the road by the contractor despite the number of years they have been on the road and the amount of money so far disbursed to them”.