Orluzurumee Youth Assembly, the apex umbrella body of youths in the 12 local government areas of Orlu zone, have expressed dismay over the deplorable state of all the major link roads to and within communities in Orlu zone, despite the priviledge of having produced three governors that presided over the affairs of the state for a total of 16 years and still counting.
They expressed regret that “the emergence of Governor Hope Uzodinma which was widely celebrated by Orlu people amidst high expectations has not made any meaningful impact or yielded desired result, seven months down the line”.
The group stated this in a release signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Comrade (Engr) Nnajiuba Obinna and made available to the press, newsmen yesterday.
They further stated that, “we view the present deplorable state of affairs in Orlu zone, seven months after Governor assumed office as an aberration, considering how infrastructural and socio-economic development of some zones in the state that were privileged to produce governors were fast tracked without delay”.
The release also noted that the dilapidated nature of most of the roads in the zone has made some communities unaccessible, thereby subjecting the people to hardship, lack and deprivation, as they can no longer transport their farm produce to village markets with relative ease.
“As a group of enlightened and educated youths, we are aware of the challenges involved in embarking on road construction during the rainy season. We however call on the Governor to urgently initiate temporary measures that will ameliorate the suffering of the people, in addition to declaring a state of emergency on roads in Orlu zone, to reduce the spate of avoidable road hazards in the zone”.
They lamented the dilapidated condition of Njaba bridge, which, according to them, has become a death trap that may cave-in any moment from now, if nothing is done urgently to address it. The life threatening situation had, in the past recorded several fatal road accidents that could have been averted if necessary steps were taken.
The youths also expressed concern that the deplorable state of the roads has enhanced the activities of miscreants, deviants and hoodlums who take advantage of the bad spots that compel vehicles and their unsuspecting occupants to slow down to rob, kidnap and engage in all kinds of criminal activities in the zone. “The said situation is also worsened by failure of the government to ensure security of lives and property”.
“The story is almost the same across all the local government areas in Orlu zone. From Afor Ogidi market to the popular Banana Junction, down to the ever busy Total Filling Station roundabout is a night mare while the Okporo-Mgbidi road, is nothing to write home about.
“The Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH) road, off old Owerri road is better imagined. We recall that, the previous administration had awarded contracts for the construction of these roads, after due consideration of their viability and socio-economic importance to the people. We are grieved that the roads were abandoned, shortly after the administration’s tenure. The contractors and all concerned in the ignoble and fraudulent act should be traced and made to account for every kobo of the huge sum earmarked for the projects”.
The group also wondered why the Mgbidi-Omuma-Okporo road that links Orlu LGA, Oru East LGA and Oru West LGA, which incidentally leads to Governor Uzodinma’s ancestral home is also among several others in the zone that are sorry sights to behold.
They called on the Hope Uzodinma led government to rise to the occasion, by ensuring that the raods are given urgent attention. The concluded by saying,“Having produced governors of the state at different times in the past 20 years, should be a blessing and not a curse to the people of Orlu zone”.