By Amos Igbebe
Major roads in Asaba, the Delta State capital, have been taken over by the recurrent flood that ravaged the city since the heavy downpour which began at the weekend. Vehicle users, tricycle riders and pedestrians have been groaning as the flood has remained a perennial challenge in the state capital.
The major roads which include Jesus Saves Road, Direct Labour Agency (DLA) Road, Leo Okogwu Road, Agric Road, Okpanam Road, Junior Staff Quarters area and many others have been taken over by flood, which on many occasions, cut away portions of the city from others, hence leaving residents in the area wailing while some rain curses on the immediate past Governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
DLA Road which is one of the worst hit and one of the major roads in the city, was said to have been awarded on several occasions to some prominent sons of the community but has remained abandoned leading to residents in the area paying through their nose to access their homes in the flood.
The road is heavily loaded with potholes, which some say, could lead to premature labour for a pregnant woman as the tricycle or car navigates through the bumpy potholes in the area. The bumpy nature of the road occasioned by the large potholes has never left tricycle passengers pouring venom on Uduaghan for his neglect of the roads all through his 8 years of sojourn in Delta Government House.
Hence, at the mention of DLA Road to tricycle riders, they frown as many say the bumpy nature of the road has grave impact on the durability of the tricycle. Truly, as the tricycles ride through the road, passengers feel the impact and many shout as the tricycle gallop and throw the passengers who struggle to hold themselves together.
As the rains pour and the floods flow, the road gets badly excavated and on most occasions, the tricycle bumps into the potholes as the entire area is covered with muddy water. It is really a painful sight as DLA Road is one of the roads to be reckoned with in the city of Asaba.
Various sections of the road have broken into bits following the impact of vehicles and the poor quality of repair carried out on the road by Deux, a contracting firm which was employed by the immediate past government of Emmanuel Uduaghan to work on the road.
It is presently an eyesore for newcomers who have lived in cities like Enugu, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Ilorin and others judging from the huge allocation from the federation account to the state and the much billions being generated as internal revenue from companies operating in Delta State.
The road depicts a major failure in the administration of former Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, as many believed he tactically abandoned the state capital because many of the civil servants who reside in the state capital did not support his second term bid in 2011 to become governor of the state.
This is why during his tenure as Governor, he, his Secretary to the State Government, Ovuozorie Macaulay and Commissioner for Information, Chike Ogeah, had continuously told journalists that all roads in Asaba had been awarded to contractors and would all be completed before he leaves office on May 29, 2015, but it was all a deception.
Also, the road leading to Okpanam, a neighbouring community to Asaba, is another eyesore to whosoever cares. Since Uduaghan emerged Governor of the state, Deltans resident in the area had consistently called on the Uduaghan’s government to look into the plight of the people residing in the area but he never did, though he gave various promises which he never kept.
Any time it rains, anyone caught on the way would have a lot of stories to tell as his experience would be extremely painful for him to bear. The quantum of flood that ravages the area cannot be quantified with the best of human language. The weight of water and the length of area it covers is unimaginable. The painful aspect of it is that the damage road is directing the state House of Assembly complex and the quarters where the members are housed. One can now imagine how they navigate their way either to the chamber or back to their residence.
All over the city of Asaba, the story is the same. Most residential areas are cut off during the raining season. Most of the buildings get submerged and dwellers begin to lament their plight. While they cry and weep, the rains pour but many express optimism that the new government would attend to the plight of the city with the new agency which it has established, Asaba Capital Development Agency. But there is still fear that for the roads to be fully attended to, many buildings standing on the right of way might be pulled down.
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