Monday, 4 September 2017

Onicha-ugbo—Abuja-Road: Silence In The Midst Of Adversity By Emeke Nwaoboli

Onicha-ugbo—Abuja-Road: Silence In The Midst Of Adversity By: Emeke Nwaoboli
The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny--Sole Woyinka
It is a rude awakening to note that the Onicha-Ugbo—Abuja federal road constructed by the Niger Delta Development Company (NDDC) less than ten years ago is in a grief-stricken state, and has turned to a death trap for many commuters.
The road, located at Onicha-Ugbo, a town in Aniocha-North Local Government Area(LGA), Delta-state, which many expect to be a palliative for those travelling to Abuja after the Agbor-Uromi road went desolate, has reportedly become a handicap. Motorists, particularly truck drivers now sometimes sleep on the road for days or even more than a week repairing their cars or trucks because some gaps in the road have become too deep and impassable.

Some of the residents along the road told this reporter that weeks ago; “small cars” could not pass the flooded road as the flood nearly swallow them up and destroy their engines.
In an interview with this reporter, Jude Monye, a resident of Onicha-Ugbo  said the road has been bad for some time, but became terrible three months ago.
“This road has been bad for quite a long time, but it became worse three months ago. As you can see, some of the youths and I from this town are in the flood trying to direct the cars on how to ply the route without being trapped.
“We also help push out the cars from the flood when any of them gets stocked in the mud. If not for our goodwill, all the cars would have been trapped just like some of the Dangote trucks you see here”.
Commenting on efforts so far by the government and individuals to help amend the road, he said, “The government has not made any efforts so far to amend the road. However, last two weeks, someone came and told us he had been paid to stone-fill the road, but he only sand-filled it and when the rain came, it flushed the sand away.
“The road is getting worse every day. We need the government to intervene and the contract awarded to another road construction company other than NDDC”.
This reporter gathered that some youths have started profiting from the situation by charging vehicles they rescue from sinking in the dilapidated road.
Beyond affecting motorists,  the road provides access to over 50, 000 acres of farmland to farmers, and farmers now find it herculean going to their farmlands as well as transporting for sale, their products to the market.
This is also the case of residents of Idumuje-Ugboko, a neighboring town 4 kilometers away from Onicha-Ugbo, who ply the road when en route Benin-city, Asaba, Onicha etc.
The questions now are: Shall we remain silent in the midst of adversity? What is NDDC doing to remedy the bad road they constructed a few years ago? What solution is the federal government providing to put an end to this death trap? In addition, what are the representatives of Onicha-Ugbo doing to remedy the problem?
At the senate, Peter Nwaoboshi is the representative; at the house of assembly is Engr Emeka Nwaobi; and at the house of representative is Mrs Mrakpor, all under the auspices of the Delta-state governor, ifeanyi okowa.
It’s worthy of mention here too that the immediate past Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum  Corporation (NNPC) and Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe kachikwu is an indigene of Onicha-Ugbo.
The federal government and onicha-Ugbo representatives in the state government should stop playing politics with the safety of commuters and Onicha-Ugbo residents and reconstruct this road with immediate effect.
Dr Kachikwu should help make this possible by influentially admonishing the federal government to come to the aid of his people.
Moreover, an alternate route should be created for Dangote trucks that largely, contributed, and are still contributing to the destruction of the road.
NDDC should equally stop playing with human lives by constructing inferior roads that end up causing distress for commuters.
Quality roads should never be traded for personal gains at the detriment of human lives and properties.
NDDC who are at present constructing the Onicha-Ugbo-Idumuje-Unor Road should not repeat the same atrocious construction they did in the Onicha-Ugbo Abuja road. If they do, I am quite certain Onicha-ugbo residents would make them regret it.
The right time to do the right thing is right now.
Emeke Nwaoboli, a concerned indigene of Onicha-Ugbo writes from Benin-city.
Emeke Nwaoboli, is a student journalist and You can reach him on Facebook via Emeke Nwaoboli

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