Residents of Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia state called on Gov. Theodore Orji to commence the rehabilitation of roads in the city.
They bemoaned the deplorable state of some roads in the city whose contracts were said to have been awarded by the state government last year, adding that if nothing drastic was done urgently, the conditions of roads in Aba, would be worst when the rains fully set in.
247ureports.com com investigations revealed that most roads in the city are impassable as they have turned to oceans and are only being used by big trucks.. Most of the roads like Ngwa, Peoples, Ukaegbu ,Cemetary, Osusu, Milverton Avenue, Uratta, Ehere, Emelogu, Obohia , Omuma, Ikot Ekpene, Umuola, Eziukwu and Ohanku have turned to death traps and inaccessible , particularly when it rains.
A resident of Ohanku road, who gave her name as Nkeiru Nwanu recalled how an indigenous construction company came to reconstruct the road which he said, was completely impassable since the rain set in.
He said the construction company only did a skeletal work before the Christmas break and left, stressing that since the beginning of the year, nothing appreciable had been done by the company and he was afraid that with the rains gradually setting in, the road would be worst this year.
While doubting the capability of the company in handling such road project, Nwanu was not happy that Gov. Orji could not inspect the progress of work on the road when he visited Aba on a road inspection tour to be able to have first hand information on the state of the road.
“When I learnt that the governor was to visit Aba to inspect that road, we were all happy that he would at least have a first hand information on the type of work being done and whether the company to which the contract was awarded, was capable of handling such road project.
“All of a sudden, he could not get to Ohanku and since then, nothing has happened on the road. If things keep on going this way, what we experienced on the road last year will be child’s play as it is definitely going to be worst this rainy season. The company later packed away their equipment without completing the rehabilitation of the road.” Nwanu said,” commuters are facing hard times on the Ohanku road. The only solution is that Keke will stop at one end while the human carriers take you and your luggage on their back for fee to board a bus to the other side,” she lamented.
Residents of Obohia road have also called on the government to save them suffering due to the poor road network in the area.
247ureports.com gathered that the state government commenced the rehabilitation of the Obohia few months before the 2011 general elections, but later abandoned it.
Mr. Clement Chibudo, who lives on Ukegbu road, also lamented the poor state of the road. According to him,” Since the failed portions of the road which were patched last year, damaged because of shoddy work done, we have really suffered as tricycle operators refuse to ply the road whenever it rains.”
The state of Emelogu road in Ogbor Hill area has continued to degenerate. The residents said: “Since last year when a construction firm in a bid to remove the muddy surface of a failed portion, dug what looked like trench on the road, with the first rains yesterday (Monday), the whole place has been filled with flood water and as the condition of that portion of the road is now, no vehicle, not even a trailer can pass through it.
“The governor should do his best to put this road back to use. It will help to reduce pressure on the dilapidated Aba Waterside Bridge. People living in Opobo road and environs can easily get to the city centre without the hassles of going through the Aba – Ikot Ekpene highway which is also in a bad state.”
247ureports.com checks revealed that some other roads in the metropolis which failed portions were dressed for patching but work abandoned since last year include St. Michael’s, York, Azikiwe, Ehi, Ehere, Umuola, Port Harcourt, Osusu, Omuma and some other roads within the metropolis. These roads have gone worse than their former state and need to be rehabilitated before the rains set in again.
Government Sources says the governor who is on a working visit to the United States would commence the rehabilitation of roads in Aba soon. How soon, the governor hears the cries of the residents after several failed promises, remains to be seen.
In all, the deplorable state of roads in Aba have reintroduced the carrying of persons and luggage by able bodied youths who are always available at flooded roads to push out vehicles stuck in the muddy waters for a fee.