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Edo State’s Strategic Struggle Against Federal Neglect

Isolation, a time-honored strategy in warfare, has long been used to weaken enemies by cutting off their essential resources, support, and communication.

Today, it seems this strategy has found a new battlefield in Edo State, Nigeria. This unique geographical region, central to the country’s transportation network, is being systematically cut off through deliberate neglect of its crucial federal roads.

Edo State’s strategic importance cannot be overstated. It shares borders with Kogi State to the north for 133 km, stretches across the Niger River for 81 km to the northeast, touches Anambra State to the east for about four km across the Niger River, meets Delta State to the southeast and south for 350 km, and borders Ondo State to the west. With Nigeria’s limited railway network, roads are the lifeblood of transportation, making Edo’s roadways vital economic arteries.

However, the federal roads connecting Edo to the rest of the country are in an appalling state of disrepair. The Benin-Agbor-Asaba road is a notorious example of neglect.

The Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi road, leading to Kogi State and onwards to Abuja and the northern regions, is equally dilapidated. The Benin-Sapele road, particularly around the Ologbo axis, resembles the “valley of the shadow of death” from biblical times due to its near-total collapse. Only the Benin-Ore road remains motorable, a testament to the efforts of the Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP administration.

The persistent neglect of these crucial roads seems far from coincidental. It appears to be a deliberate strategy by the APC-led Federal Government to isolate Edo people and frustrate them into submission. This tactic mirrors classic warfare strategies where isolation is used to weaken resistance incrementally, pushing the adversary toward a point of surrender without direct confrontation.

Historically, the Edo people have demonstrated resilience and bravery, notably in their resistance against European incursions into their ancient kingdom. Today, with the Edo State Governorship Elections looming, the APC’s last-minute road repairs appear as a desperate attempt to curry favor. Yet, these eleventh-hour efforts are too little, too late. Edo people recognize the strategic neglect for what it is – an attempt to undermine their strength and spirit.

Isolation in warfare aims to erode the enemy’s capacity to sustain operations and morale over time. Despite these tactics, the Edo people are poised to resist. Their history is one of resilience and defiance against oppression. As the elections approach, it is clear that the people of Edo will not yield to this strategy of isolation and will continue to fight for their rights and infrastructure.

Edo’s strategic location as a logistics center for Nigeria underscores the critical need for functional infrastructure. The state of its roads should be a matter of national concern, transcending political maneuvering.

The resilience of Edo State in the face of calculated isolation is a testament to its people’s enduring strength. They are prepared to confront and overcome this modern-day siege, just as they have faced challenges throughout history.

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