Achike Chude, a public affairs analyst, has lambasted Raji Fashola, Nigeria’s minister of transportation, on his comment about the conditions of roads in the country.
Fashola, addressing journalists in Abuja, was reported to have said the roads were not as deplorable as Nigerians claimed they were.
Although the minister later denied making such a statement, saying that he was quoted out of context, not a few Nigerians criticized his comment as insensitive and dishonest.
Chude, who spoke during an interview with Arise TV, dismissed the minister’s denial, insisting that it would have been impossible for every media house to have produced Fashola’s words verbatim had it been a case of mischief as the minister claimed.
He said: “There are many media houses out there and it is not all the time you have the media houses speak with one voice. If you look at the report of what he was alleged to have said, all of them quote word-for-word. It is always easier to blame the media when politicians make this terrible faux pas.
“In today’s deeply divided country, it is always hard for Nigerians to have a consensus on an issue, and you can see that there has been a broad-based consensus in terms of oppositions and disagreements in terms of what the minister has said, across the board. We are all witnesses to the state of the roads in the country… there seems to be agreement that the minister seems completely out of touch and seems to be living in a cocoon.”
Chude added, “It is either Nigerians are lying or the minister is being economical with the truth.”
He noted that the federal roads were completely bad and in their worst state, adding that the bad roads have led to an increased rate of kidnapping and other crimes on highways.