Lagos-Calabar Coastal Project: Umahi Accuses Peter Obi Of Inciting Igbos Against Tinubu Govt

Lagos-Calabar Coastal Project: Umahi Accuses Peter Obi Of Inciting Igbos Against Tinubu Govt

by Victor Ndubuisi
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The former Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi is allegedly instigating people in the southeast, particularly the uneducated, to rebel against the government, according to Minister of Works Dave Umahi.

Umahi asserted that even after putting the folks into trouble, Obi would not stand up for them.

Speaking on Wednesday at a compensation ceremony for property owners impacted by the proposed Lagos-Calabar coastal road, he made the claim.

The Federal Ministry of Work was in charge of organising the exercise.

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Controversy has surrounded the 700-kilometer coastal route since the $200 million Landmark Beach Resort was demolished to make room for the project, which is expected to cost the federal government N15 trillion.

Following the demolition, the obviously alarmed Group CEO of Landmark, Paul Onwuanibe, told BusinessDay that the government bulldozer had damaged almost 70% of the beach, calling the action “insensitive.”

“What is left of these businesses are the rubbles you can see (in video clips he captured while the demolition was going on). Those are people’s investments and means of livelihood reduced to mere rubbles; so many jobs have been lost and many Nigerian families are in for it,” Onwuanibe said.

The presidential candidate, Obi, for his part, criticised President Bola Tinubu’s administration for continuing the contentious Lagos-Calabar coastal highway project in spite of public outcry, saying it was not too late to halt the project. He added that urgent necessities are nationwide security, poverty eradication, healthcare, and education, especially for the poor and underprivileged. He also referred to the reported demolition of businesses and residences in the designated right of way for the project as insensitive and heartbreaking, lamenting that livelihoods were being wiped away, lifetime investments wasted, and jobs disappearing.

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In a post on his X handle on Tuesday, the former Anambra State governor said: “The outcry against this project has been overwhelming due to the current situation in the country. However, reports as of yesterday indicate that demolition of businesses and residences in the designated right of way for the project has commenced from the Lagos end.

“The sight of this insensitive demolition is heart-wrenching. Livelihoods are being wiped away, lifetime investments are being wasted, and jobs are disappearing as bulldozers roar through. The homes of the elderly are being overturned by the power of bulldozers.

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“This hasty flag-off defies the widespread outcry by the public, especially business and property owners directly affected by the project. Nobody knows the outcry that will accompany this project as it progresses towards poor rural landscapes.

“Thousands of jobs are about to be lost, with investments above $200 million at risk. Over 100,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector face imminent extinction, along with 80 small businesses and their 4000 mostly youth employees.”

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But because Umahi was directly involved, he maintained that Landmark had not been treated inhumanely and that the issue ought to be forgotten.

According to the former governor of Ebonyi State, Obi passes judgement on others by criticising them, which ultimately brings judgement upon himself.

He said: “It brings to some of the comments made by my brother, his Excellency Mr Peter Obi, I am not supposed to comment about it because some people have already done the work. And I know what Arise Television brought courtesy of Channels Television, they were bringing similar scenarios when His Excellency Peter Obi was the governor. He made a statement saying ”Any infrastructure that stands in the way of the road must go. And there would be no compensation paid.” That’s what he said.

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“But look at me, by the human face of the renewed hope agenda administration, we are even paying for people who are illegally staying on the coastal line, and don’t have valid infrastructure and valid documents. That is mercy, that’s mercy… You know some people darken counsel without knowledge. You know there’s the devil in the details.

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“When you condemn people, you bring judgment upon yourself. And that is what he (Obi) has done. And I think he’s inciting some of the south east people that are not well informed. He is inciting them. And gets them into trouble. And he doesn’t go to fight for them. Wisdom is a defence. And I want our people to have wisdom because I am involved.

“There’s is no inhumanity meted to Landmark, that matters should be buried because I was there. And so we fought everything possible. Even some people donated property to save his two big infrastructures. That’s appreciation. But some people have taken sides along with him to play politics.

 

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