A former Acting Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) and a senior academic at Bingham University, Karu near Abuja, Dr Emmanuel Udah Olowu is suggesting urgent conscientisation of the Japanese towards exploring the production of cars that can fly to enable Nigerians overcome what he calls a peculiar challenge. The peculiar challenge is a country without roads by which people can move across the country.
Speaking with Intervention after spending over three hours from Makurdi to Otukpo last Friday, the Sociologist said he could only see a solution in affordable Keke NAPEP version of aircrafts by which people can reach their destinations without using roads. The roads are just not there in Nigeria, said Dr Olowu who trained in an Ivy League university in the United States, a situation he described as a paradox.
Before independence, he said, the problem was how to access unreachable destinations on account of lack of roads. That challenge, according to him, was overcome with the construction of road networks and the railways by both the colonial and post colonial government. Dr Olowu who was observably nostalgic of the days he used to take the train from Utonkon to Otukpo and then complete the journey to Saint Michaels, Aliade, one of the leading secondary schools in Benue Plateau State then said the problem now is not the vehicular instruments but impassable roads. Thinking back too on how he travelled by rail from Utonkon to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for his university education in those days, the academic points out how the roads today are not only impassable, they are death traps too. The railways are no better. He, therefore, cannot see why a resort to portable aircrafts that eliminate road networks should not be explored, a sarcastic attack on the Nigerian establishment. But he is not talking of drones.
Describing the present challenge as more formidable than thatof inaccessible destinations in pre-independence Nigeria, Dr. Olowu calls for a strategy not for all nations but something peculiar to Nigeria’s crisis. That, for him, is for a proper strategy to get out of the crisis, meaning doing a new thing to respond to a unique challenge.
He suggests inviting the Japanese to, first of all, undertake a survey and see the business opportunities that await whichever company can address its mind to developing portable and affordable aircrafts that cuts off road networks from Nigeria’s list of threats to survival. That is until such a time the country recovers from its present confusion and can get it right.
He is surprised that the road situation in the country is so bad in spite of announcement of award of road contracts at the end of almost every Federal Executive Council, (FEC) meeting. As of now, Dr Olowu is fully convinced Nigeria is a case study in running a country without roads.