RE: THAT AKOKO-EDO VIRAL VIDEO By Caleb Suberu My attention was drawn to a video making the rounds on different social media platforms in respect to the on-ongoing construction project of Lawani road at Igarra in Akoko-Edo local govt area of Edo state, alleged to have been executed by Rt.Hon.Peter Akpatason. As soon as I saw the video, I knew that something was fishy. The portion of the road and the pavement projected in the video were indeed shoddy. Since we do not understand the powers and intricacies of social media, different thoughts went through my curious mind in a few seconds. 1. Is this not a fake video? 2. If it is a genuine video, how are we sure that the project is actually situated in Igarra as it's being projected? 3. If it is true that the project is located in Akoko-Edo, could it be true that the said project is actually being executed by Rt.Hon.Peter Akpatason? 4. If the answer is yes, then the contractor must have jettisoned the specifications of the project without the knowledge of the Honourable and his local team. I am convinced from my many interactions with Rt. Hon. Peter Akpatason that he would not associate himself with such absurdity. In order not to jump on the bandwagon of many lacking the spectacles of a wholesome view but would rather be misled into hasty conclusions and judgments from afar, I decided to carry out my independent fact-findings. Because we owe ourselves and our people the duty to tell it as it is, as well as to know who is responsible for what in our communities. FACTS ABOUT THE PROJECT 1. It is a 1km road project domiciled in the Rural development department of ‘the Ministry of Agriculture and rural development’. 2. Rt. Hon. Peter Akpatason used his good Office as a Member of the Federal House of Representatives (Deputy Majority Leader) to facilitate the project in the 2020 budget. 3. The project is not being executed by Rt. Hon. Peter Akpatason as alleged. 4. The first phase of the project was in the 2020 budget, while the completion stage is in the 2021 budget. 5. The project was awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture to one Royal Jeff Nigeria Ltd. Having stated these pertinent facts, however, it is important to note that Rt. Hon. Peter Akpatason has the duty to inspect the work and ensure that the project is carried out within the approved specifications since it was facilitated by him. He had inspected the first and second stages of the project (the commencement stage) and it is deemed satisfactory. The issues raised are in the third stage of the project which is the completion stage. In the interview he granted to "This Day News Paper" on the 5th of July, 2021, he admitted that he has not been on the ground to inspect the job at this stage (completion stage), more so, the work is still ongoing. ABOUT THE FAILED PORTION OF THE ROAD AND PAVEMENT. While the construction workers were on duty, some residents of that area complained to them on how they experience flash floods in their premises whenever it rains and appealed to the Contractor to assuage them of the situation. So in their benevolence, the workers used some leftover materials to create a pavement to channel the flood away from their compound. However, it was not done in line with the project specifications, hence the shoddy output. This was the response of the Rt. Honorable when he was asked about the Pavement. "What I will say clearly is that if I were in the Contractor’s position if I choose to give assistance to support the community, I will do the same quality that is contained in my ‘Bill of Quantities’. If what he did is different from that, then, I won’t be happy with him. We are going to analyze that. I appreciate the fact that somebody in the community was able to come out to draw attention to what it considered to be poor work, irrespective of the drama. I’m pleased that somebody is doing something. To inspect a project, everyone must be involved. The agency that awards projects must inspect projects, the community that are benefiting from the project must inspect the project". Considering the embarrassment that the video caused him, it is just fair to commend him for the kind words he used on the maker of the viral video. That is the kind of humility that is rare to find amongst our present crop of politicians. From my personal observation of our polity, there are still a handful of politicians who have genuine concern for the plight of their constituents. A few who sacrificially deliver quality projects to their communities, Rt. Hon. Peter Akpatason is one of them. Since he was elected as the Honourable member representing the good people of Akoko-Edo in the Federal House of Representatives, he has made giant strides by delivering the dividends of democracy to the people of Akoko-Edo to the best of his capacity. Below are a few collections of his projects that I know: 1. A newly constructed block of 3 classrooms with stores at Bekuma Community. (completed) 2.Renovation of a block of 4 classrooms and another block of 3 class rooms at Oyegba primary school, Ekpesa.(completed) 3. Industrial borehole with 3 Reticulation covering over 500 metres at Odo quarters at Ibillo.(completed). 4. On-going construction of a model Palace at Ekor community. 5. Newly Established skill and vocational aquisiton centre. 6. Newly renovation of Ekpese college in Lamkpese. 7. Newly constructed and furnished Corpers lodge. 8. Newly built multipurpose town hall at Ayaran Community. 9. Newly built multipurpose town hall at Akuku community. 10. Newly constructed class rooms block and Headmasters Office at Alafe primary school at Ugboshi-Afe. 11.Construction of 2 classrooms at Ojirami Petershi. 12. Construction of a Solar borehole in Ugboshi- Afe. 13. Renovation of MDG Bungalow and renovation of Cassava processing mill in Igarra. 14. Construction, supply and Installation of Cassava processing facility in Ibillo. 15. Construction, supply and Installation of Palm processing factory in Enwan. 16. Electrification of Ijaja, Oloma and Ogbalishe communities. 17. On-going construction of Akoko-Edo traditional hall and Offices. 18. ICT facility in Erhuru. 19. Installation of 500KVA 33/0.4kv substation with 0.2k of 33Kv overheadline at Aiyetoro community in Akoko-Edo. 20. Construction of recreational/wellness facility for Pensioners and aged people at Uneme-Nekhua community. 21. Community based water supply scheme and public stand post at Uneme Osu community. 22. Supply and installation of 33KVA transformer at Enechiro community in Igarra. 23. Establishment of Integrated Farm in Ofefen/Ohorogu farm Land Akoko-Edo Local Government Area, Edo State. 24. Construction of Atte /Egbigere bridge and grading of road in Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency, Edo State. 25. Provision of Cargo and Passenger Tricycles to Unemployed Youths in Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency. 26. Construction of UnU-Ese Bridge Ojirami Afe Road in Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency, Edo State. 27. Construction of Ibillo-Ekuayo-Ogugu road in Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency, Edo State. 28. Establishment of Edo NILEST Centre in Akoko-Edo. 29. Construction of link roads and drains in Nekhua in Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency, Edo State. 30. Construction of a mini Stadium at Ibillo in Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency. These are a few of some of the awesome projects by this illustrious son of Akoko-Edo that I can mention at the moment. Mind you, I did not touch the area of human capital investment on the people of Akoko-Edo or the sheer number of youths he has secured gainful employment for. Suffice to say that it baffles me beyond comprehension that these kinds of projects could be executed by one of the frontiers of Akoko-Edo politics, for Akoko-Edo people, instead of us to keep commending and keep throwing our weight behind him to make use of his good Office as the Deputy Majority Leader of the Federal House of Representatives so that he could attract more developmental projects to our communities, we are fixated in name-calling, blackmails and treachery towards him. This is sad, pitiable and unappreciative. The worse of ingratitude is gratitude unexpressed. It is true when the Bible says "a Prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, among his own kin and in his own house". I hope this would not be the story of Akoko-Edo. God bless Akoko-Edo. God bless Rt. Hon. Peter Akpatason.