Coastal Highway: Umahi Accuses Obi of Inciting Igbo Dissent

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The Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, has accused former Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi of stoking division and distrust between the people of the South East (Igbo) and the Nigerian Government particularly over the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway project.

Umahi made this statement in Lagos at the event organised to compensate the affected owners of demolished structures to create a pathway for the project in Lagos on Wednesday.

The Minister of Works, however, disclosed that the Federal Govern¬ment has set aside N2.75 billion compensation to property owners affected by the con¬struction of the Lagos-Cal¬abar coastal highway, spanning from channel 0 to channel 3.

The Minister asserted that Peter Obi had been vocal in his criticism of President Tinubu’s coastal highway project describing it as a “job-losing one and misplaced priority”.

Obi had earlier tweeted on his X handle alleging that Tinubu was inadvertently creating more unemployment and destroying lucrative investments that paid taxes, as the Landmark Beach Resort, worth $200 million, was adversely affected.

The former Anambra governor decried that thousands of jobs were about to be lost, with over 100,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector facing imminent extinction, along with 80 small businesses and their 4,000 mostly youth employees.

The Minister of Works however dubunked Obi’s criticism stating that the former governor had carried out similar demolition without compensating affected individuals during his tenure.

The former Ebonyi governor opines that Obi was only inciting some unsuspecting residents of the South-East against Tinubu’s government, cautioning him to desist from such.

Umahi states: “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.

“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.

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

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