Friday, 30 October 2015

Awka North Cries To Governor Obiano for Quick Intervention over Abandoned Road Project

Okechukwu Onuegbu

Following the abandonment of work on Amansea-Ebenebe-Ugbenu-Ugbene-Awba ofemili road by the contractor handling the project, the affected communities in Awka north Local Government Area of Anambra State have cried to Governor Willie Obiano for quick intervention, even as they stressed that they suffer untold hardship, economic retardation, and socio-economic backwardness to that effect. reliably gathered that the about 12.30 kilometer road project with a bridge across Ezu River was billed to be completed in 15 months when it was awarded to Brecco Construction Nig. Ltd. on 11 April, 2007 at contract sum of N650, 000, 000 or revised contract sum of 7,816,193,590.63.
However, our reporter, who recently visited the area reports that neither a contractor nor working facilities were found on the site, even as the bridge hung thereon and 1 kilometer constructed part of the road have turned into a deathtrap sequel to potholes necessitated by flooding.
Speaking to, the Traditional Prime Minister of Ebenebe (Onowu Ebenebe), Chief Joe Nwegwu lamented the deplorable condition of the road, wondering why others such as Agulu lake and Odo bridge flagged-off same year or thereabout have been completed.
“As you can see 1 kilometer part of the road from Amansea to the bridge was tarred but now it is full of potholes. The bridge itself is yet to be completed; not tarred, wings side not fixed. Recall that some experts were reportedly sent to Egypt to design the bridge before it would be installed. The other part leading through Ebenebe stopped at Obuno village Ebenebe. When is it going to reach Ugbenu, Ugbene, Awba-Ofemili?
“We are appealing to our working Willie to rescue us from the menace. It scares travelers, marketers and visitors away from the agrarian communities. The cost of transportation here is too expensive. We were happy while our governor promised to construct and link the road to Omor. Therefore, we are pleading to him to compel the contractor to return to the site or to even revoke the contract and give it to another contractor”.
Also speaking, Rev. Phil Nwokolo, an indigene of Ebenebe and the Resident Pastor of Grace of God Mission, Oko in Orumba North Local Government Area of the state, bemoaned that the affected communities were capable of feeding the whole country with their abundance agricultural produce but reverse was the case as poor road networks cripple all their activities.
“My heart skips whenever I remember home. This is because there is no road; to go with your vehicle you must to be ready to spend huge sum amount on servicing it thereafter. If you chose to travel through public transportation; you would spend more than expected… Please, Governor Obianoo should help us. With well rehabilitated road, we can feed the entire Anambra and beyond through our agricultural produce”.
On his part, an indigene of Ugbenu, Hon. Mathias Arinze said: “It is too devastating. Our people recount their ordeals on the road on daily basis. At every rainfall, floods wash travelers away. Our resources that would have helped in revamping the state economy and IGR always waste away. Is it because we are from ofemili or adogbe people? Please, we are begging our lovely governor, who had done well in sectors of economy to assist us with this road. Ugbenu and the entire Awka north are truly suffering because of the deplorable road construction. obiano to help us. You know we are mostly farmers; we need the road to transport our produce to the cities”.
In separate interviews, two farmers, Mr. Eze Ozoemena, and Mrs. Dorathy Afujue with tears rolling down their cheeks, implored Anambra State Government to assist them by rehabilitating the bridge and road, because according to them, their produce waste away as traders and visitors have abandoned them and their major markets, therefore posing hardship, backwardness and poverty thereon.
It would be recalled that the abandoned Ezu River Bridge and the road links the ten communities in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State to over twelve neighbouring communities in Eziagu council area of Enugu State and other parts of Anambra State.
Ezu River, however, came into the limelight following the falls of its bridge at Ebenebe around 2006, as well as the discovery of floating corpses, whose identity and killers source remain unknown till date.



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