Real reason Tinubu named Abuja highway after Soyinka

President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday approved the request by FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, to name the Arterial Road N-20 after Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka.

The Arterial Road N-20 stretched from Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Expressway to Outer Northern Expressway (Murtala Mohammed Expressway).

Wike had appealed to President Tinubu during the inauguration of the road to celebrate his one year in office.

“It is not when somebody dies that we will remember his contributions. It is good,  in the lifetime of someone who has contributed to the greatness of this country, to recognise him, rather than waiting for him to die.

“A dead man does not know what happens. I will appeal to you sir, to let us recognise one of our own, by naming this road after him. The only Nobel Laureate we have, who has made Nigerians proud in the world.

“I recommend that this road be named, Wole Soyinka Way. In that case, other people will have hope. People like me will have hope that tomorrow they will also recognise me,” Wike  requested.

Tinubu approved the Minister’s request to name the road after Soyinka, whom he described as “a famous playwright, novelist and Nobel Prize winner”.

Wike explained that the road was awarded in 2020 at N30.6 billion and had no variation, adding that he had inspected the execution of the road more than 10 times to ensure timely delivery within specifications.

He argued that it would be difficult for any leader to challenge Tinubu’s achievements in FCT, considering the spade of infrastructure and administrative development in the territory in just one year in office.

“It will be difficult for anybody to challenge you in FCT. It will be very difficult. I said so because the facts are there; the things are there. It is not about theory; it is about reality,” he said.

Wike, particularly, commended Tinubu for changing the narrative of civil service in FCT.

According to the Minister, with the establishment of FCT Civil Service Commission, workers in FCTA no longer run to the Federal Civil Service Commission, for progression.

“They get promoted on their own. Most of them have never dreamed in their lives that they would reach the peak of their career as head of service and as permanent secretaries.

“Your political will, which you have always shown, has given them hope, and that is why today, if we decide to do something, you will see everybody working together so that we achieve it.”

The FCT Minister of State, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, said that Tinubu’s efforts not only transformed the infrastructural landscape of the city but also laid a foundation for smoother transformation and enhanced connectivity.

“By today’s inauguration, we are invariably creating a safer, more efficient and more sustainable transportation network that benefits everyone in the nation’s capital city.

“May this arterial road serve as pathways to progress, prosperity and unity for generations to come,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Shehu Ahmad, Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) explained that the arterial road N-20 stretches from the Murtala Mohammed Expressway to Airport Expressway (Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Expressway).

Ahmad said that segment that was inaugurated was 3.5km from the Murtala Mohammed Expressway to Ahmadu Bello Way, out of the 5.6-kilometre road from Murtala Mohammed Expressway to Northern Parkway.

He explained that the road was a six-lane dual carriageway, with extensive underground engineering infrastructure services, and streetlights.

He added that there were two interchanges, one at the intersection with the Murtala Mohammed Expressway and the other at Northern Parkway.

Ahmad added that the road crisscrossed two Sector Centre A and B, crossing four Districts at Sector Centre A – Katampe, Jahi, Mabushi and Kado, and crossed Jabi, Utako Daki Biyu, and Wuye Districts at Sector Centre B.

The inauguration of the Arterial N-20 Road was the fifth in a row, beginning with the Southern Parkway named after Bola Tinubu and the commercial operation of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit System.

Also inaugurated by the President  were the Wuye Interchange bridge and the Outer Southern Expressway to Ring Road I.

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