VP’s Remarks At Commissioning Of Dick Tiger Road In Imo State

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REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE COMMISSIONING OF DICK TIGER ROAD IN OWERRI, IMO STATE ON THE 6TH OF APRIL, 2021

 

PROTOCOLS

 

I bring you the very warm greetings and felicitations of President Muhammadu Buhari, on this landmark occasion of the commissioning of the 3 km long Dick Tiger Road.

 

This road covers more than ten streets including the Dick Tiger Street and its commissioning in record time, ends the misery of the hitherto flood-prone areas which has led to the near desolation of this area because of the flooding problems. Now with the rehabilitation of this road, I am told that the real estate value of the area is now on the rise.

 

The before-and-after story of this restoration as told by the grateful residents whom we have just listened to is particularly heartwarming and tells you the value of good and purposeful government. As the governor has said, we have already begun to see what it means to have an APC government and I am sure in the coming months and years, we will see even more dramatic developments in this great State.

 

Only a few weeks ago the President commissioned two major road projects; the World Bank to Federal Secretariat road and the Assumpta to General Hospital to Port Harcourt Road. The President had barely finished that commissioning when the Governor insisted that we must commission the Dick Tiger Road and Street.

 

The huge infrastructural developments taking place here in Imo State must be commended and so must the Governor’s hard work and forward-looking approach. This aligns with Mr. President’s own belief that the building of roads, rail, power, and digital technology, and other infrastructural assets, must be the first priority for economic development.

 

In this, we have no choice. Africa’s largest economy can only provide opportunities for its people and huge population if it runs on modern infrastructure. Congratulations Mr. Governor.

 

Although we are here to celebrate building, and builders, we are confronted with the scepter of destruction and calamity; the paradox of positive construction and wanton destruction.

 

Early yesterday morning, this quiet and peaceful city of Owerri had its peace and tranquility shattered by heavily armed hoodlums who blasted open, the doors of the Correctional Facility on Okigwe Road, facilitating the escape of well over one thousand inmates, many of whom were dangerous criminals.  They also attacked the Police Headquarters at Shell Camp, burning several vehicles and even attempting to overtake the police armory if not for the effective resistance of the police.

 

An attack on the critical institutions of law enforcement police stations and prisons is an attack on the safety, security, and wellbeing of the citizens. It is not merely an assault on law and order, it is a mindless attack on the people and the way of life of the people.

 

When you attack police stations and free dangerous criminals, you put men, women, children, and their possessions and livelihoods at risk. Whatever the motives of the perpetrators, their action is egregious and atrocious in the extreme and all men and women of goodwill must openly condemn this assault on the way of life of the good people of this State.

 

Perhaps, more than any other part of the country, this zone has borne witness to the terrible cost in lives, liberty, and progress that is exerted by conflict. It is in this beautiful land that our country learned an enduring lesson in the futility of violence. But there are those who believe that to resolve issues and conflicts other than by violence is cowardice.

 

If the voice of their hatred prevails, we will experience the terrible and fruitless loss of lives that violence begets.

 

Our system is not perfect and we can only seek to perfect it; indeed, no earthly system is perfect, but what democracy and the institutions of democratic governance provides are channels for seeking redress for injury and peacefully addressing the problems that ail us.

 

There are many who are working tirelessly to improve our system, to build it up, and to enhance it, we must therefore reject the agents of anarchy that are seeking to weaponize the frustration and discontent of our young people for their own profit.

 

The path of violence can only lead to disaster that consumes everyone and leads to the desolation of our communities.  It is easy to take peace for granted, but we need not learn the value of peace through the horrible crucible of war.

 

Anyone who perpetrates violence does not represent the progressive mindedness of the good people of this State and this geopolitical zone. I call on all of us to come together to resist any attempt to turn the progress and peace this zone is set to experience, to conflict and disruption.

 

The security in this city and the State has since yesterday been further enhanced and we are set to strengthen security capacity even more here. The search for the escaped inmates of the Correctional Centre has begun in earnest.

 

I want to commend the Governor of the State for his calm, measured but firm handling of the security situation in the State. The Federal government stands with you and the great people of Imo State at this crucial time.

 

Your Excellency, Honourable Ministers, Senior Government Officials, and Traditional Rulers present, it is now my very special privilege and honour to officially commission the new re-engineered, re-built, and re-furbished Dick Tiger Road for the benefit of the residents and businesses in this area, the good people of this State and to the Glory of the Almighty God.

 

Thank you.