Abia Community Laments Poor Handling of Road Project

An appeal has been made to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the urgent completion of a two-kilometre road being constructed by the commission in Isiala Ntighauzo community under Obingwa Local Government of Abia State.

Residents of the area, in a Save Our Soul (SOS), said the project, in its present state, was causing discomfort to them instead of alleviating their pains.

Traditional ruler of the community, Eze Nwakwue Akpulonu, said that the purpose of constructing the road, which is to facilitate the easy movement of the residents, is highly defeated.

“I believe that the project is part of the interventionist efforts of the commission in communities within its jurisdiction.

“If the purpose is to better the lives of the people, the reverse is now the case,” Eze Akpulonu said.

NDDC is constructing a two-kilometre road that runs across the community. But the community has described this project as a death trap.

According to the traditional ruler, the road is now a big threat to vehicles, tricycles, bicycles nd pedestrians as vehicle, tricycle and bicycle owners lose their tyres in unprecedented frequency, and are subjected to frequent vehicle repairs.

“The situation is terrible. Vehicle owners lose their tyres in large numbers. Myself I have lost over five tyres in quick succession .Even other parts of vehicles and tricycles are not spared. People are subjected to frequent vehicle maintenance after plying the road.

“The unfortunate thing is that the road is the major commercial route linking our people and the neighbouring communities to the major road leading to Aba, and as such the situation of the road is hampering commercial activities of our people as they cannot access Aba easily.

“Even pedestrians are not spared by this unfortunate situation. People trip over the heaps of stone that characterise the road and fell, losing their legs or other vital parts of their body,” Eze Akpulonu laments.

According to Eze Akpulonu, scores of road mishaps have been recorded on the road where people sustained serious injuries.

He said that motorcycles and vehicles have bumped into the stone heaps, causing them to lose control and leading to fatal accidents.

Eze Akpulonu explained that he has made several interventions to the appropriate quarters which have not yielded any positive results and that now the community have decided to ventilate their frustration to the public.

He said that the effect of his interventions is that the community would notice a group of people who parade as the contractors deployed to the site with dilapidated equipment and after few days’ work will come to a halt as a result of the breakdown of equipment.

Efforts to link with the contractors to ascertain the challenges impeding the project proved abortive as there were no signposts displayed on the project sites announcing the contractors.

The project, which is almost three years old, is lying in ruins. The road is characterized by heaps of big stones which constitutes big threats to the road users.

The portions which the stones have been laid are disasters as the heavy rains which have characterized recent part of the year have washed them away, exposing the red earth.

Investigations also reveal that before now the commission was mobilising contractors in advance to execute projects but the contractors were not faithful to this arrangement as they make away with funds, frustrating the project.

This, it was learnt, forced the commission to adjust is policies to mobilise contractors only when they have attained an appreciable level of the project. It is alleged that the contractor lacked but material and financial capacity to execute the project to the level where he can attract the mobilization from the commission, and this is attributed to the factor frustrating the project.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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