By Ogbonnaya Ndukwe, Aba
The recent inauguration of four newly built and rehabilitated roads spread across Aba metropolis, has automatically changed the public perception of Abia governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
His flagging off of work on four other major road with very large populations and linking the commercial city to other parts of the state and beyond, on January 11, may also have provided a platform to wipe away the people’s notion that his administration will not impact much on their welfare, especially in the area of provision of good road infrastructure.
Ikpeazu spoke the minds of the people when he gave marching orders to contractors handling the rehabilitation of Ngwa, Obohia and Ohanku and Port Harcourt roads, to move into site without any further delay or risk being sacked.
His earlier promises on the preparedness of his administration to address the infrastructural decay in the state and the sufferings of the people especially in areas of dilapidated roads, poor and out-dated educational and health facilities and in fact, leave Aba and Abia better than he had met it in 2015 were then received as mere political statements.
However, as he arrived Osusu Road, which provided access to the famous Ariaria International market but remained impassable for more than two decades before its reconstruction, the crowd erupted in cheers, chants, and songs to usher him in. Other roads commissioned on that multiple occasion, included Egege linking Ukaegbu through Ama Ohafia with Umuoba road at the Aba Waterside End, Ebenma and First Avenue; three roads that had never been tarred by any administration since the creation of the state, and located in Ogbor Hill area of Aba North council.
Ikpeazu moved to Ngwa Road where he expressed disappointment on discovering that the contractors were yet to commence work in earnest as he had earlier directed. He urged them to do all they could to complete the job on schedule even as he promised Aba people that he will change the face of the town for the better with better roads, educational facilities as well as other infrastructures that will help alleviate their problems and reposition their economic wellbeing for the larger benefit of the state.
Corroborating the governor’s promises, the works commissioner, Chief Bob Ogu, told Daily Sun, that government was working towards containing much of the jobs on the various road problems in the area before the next rainy season.
Some residents in Ngwa and Ohanku roads expressed joy that the contractors have heeded the governor’s directives to move to their sites immediately. Already, where they have begun scraping and scooping away of debris and destroyed road surfaces, as well as pulling down illegal structures blocking access to the road areas they were working on.
Mrs Rebecca Igwe said she was happy that Ohanku Road was being reconstructed during her lifetime, as she recounted the sufferings she and other residents had passed through during raining seasons.
A carpenter along Ngwa Road, John Chukwu, and roadside trader, Cletus Ibe, who both claimed their shops were affected by the road rehabilitation, said they were happy it was for good development.