Once again we have reasons to comment and remind ourselves of the state of major and minor roads all over Imo State which have been in very deplorable conditions for the past ten years and worsened by total neglect by subsequent governments, reaching its peak with the urban renewal abracadabra and road expansion project of the rescue mission administration. That regime exited more than 14 months ago leaving the state without any known passable or motorable local, state of federal government roads. This was at a time Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi after considering the welfare of his people embarked on and fully completed the reconstruction of Port Harcourt –Owerri highway
For the brief period it lasted, the Ihedioha government embarked on the purposeful and meaningful reconstruction and rehabilitation of some of the major state roads and awarded contracts for others under the RAMP project. Some of these road were inherited and continued by the present administration of Hope Uzodinma, which sometimes early this year announced the award of contracts to a multinational construction company- Julius Berger to reconstruct two major federal roads running across the state, such as the Owerri-Orlu road with the Njaba erosion sites and the Owerri-Okigwe road and the Ekemele gully site.
Though nobody has seen any work commence on these roads because of the rains as we were made to understand, it is a well known fact that the contracts have been signed. Now that the rains have subsided for the August break and we have good weather conditions everywhere in Imo State, our question and the expectation of Imo people are when will work begin on our roads and when Julius Berger resume work on the two appreciably mentioned roads? Imo people know the roads which contracts were awarded by Governor Ihedioha and completed by Senator Uzodinma’s government, and therefore cannot be deceived or hoodwinked into believing anything to the contrary.
What is the position of the two abandoned flyovers located in Owerri. Are they to be neglected and abandoned forever or are they to be reconstructed for use or even demolished? It is the peoples project hence we cannot continue to keep mum over that multi-billion naira project.
We advocate that the Ministry of Works embark on major quality works inspection of constructed, reconstructed or rehabilitated internal, local and state roads, for easy transportation commerce and other human activities in the state. So far some internal roads have been commissioned in Owerri which have started developing pot holes and we want to know what type of roads that we are giving the people. Are they durable, quality roads or Rochas type of China roads. If we can take a cue from the Chukwuma Nwaoha-Relief market road Owerri sample or send our people on a study course on road construction to Ebonyi, Anambra or Rivers State, the narrative would be better for our people living in the erosion prone, muddy, clay zone.
Since the government has decided to build, reconstruct or rehabilitate roads in the state we suggest that he should select and construct long lasting all season durable, motorable, roads for things worth doing are worth doing well. If some roads built by Mbakwe in the late eighties, a few built by Achike Udenwa and one or two roads constructed by Dr. Ohakim in the 2000 are still useable, motorable and durable. We have no reason to witness or experience collapses, failures or pot holes on roads built and commissioned within a month, or the ones that are only six months old, after Emeka Ihedioha constructed and commissioned them from experience, roads are usually commissioned along with clear drainages, street lightings and decorations. What we saw of the roads commissioned by Hope Uzodinma are patched roads with blocked drains. For instance the Assumpta Cathedral to World Bank road, part of which was commissioned has the entire newly commissioned drainages blocked with stand and mud. The street lighting are yet to be fixed while the walkway or pedestrian route is completely absent. Thus exposing pedestrians to serious health hazards. It will be interesting to know those from the state Ministry of Works, who supervised the construction of these roads.
We plead that the government should provide some solid roads with adequate drainages now that we are at the verge of clement weather in our zone.