Residents of Lokogoma and Gudu in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, were ecstatic following the construction and commissioning of a three-kilometre road and a culvert, hitherto a death trap for over 20 years.
The event to commemorate the succour provided by Ebeano Supermarkets to the residents attracted the like of Senator, representing the Federal Capital Territory, Philip Aduda, representative of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC)/Bwari Federal Constituency, Micah Jiba, Chairman, AMAC, Abdullahi Adamu Bello, Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and traditional rulers.
Prior to its construction, the road was so deplorable, impassable and hellish as users had to always say their last prayers before embarking on such a road, unbeknown of the outcome. Aside that, men of the underworld took advantage of the agonising situation to deepen the sorrows of residents especially women and children, plying that axis at night, by snatching bags, phones, beating and injuring those who do not comply and majestically escape through the forest.
Also, motorcycle and tricycle riders jerked up transport fair from N100 to N200, from Lokogoma junction to Gudu, especially during the rush hours a situation that grounded growing businesses like parks and gardens, mechanic workshop and a car wash. According to them, the state of the road was damaging their vehicles.
When it rains, it is easy for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for anybody to go through that route without removing his or her shoes. During the dry season, residents would have to contend with the dust, which transforms one’s eyebrows, eyelids, nostrils and clothes, to brown.
The importance of the road cannot be over hyped because it connects residents to Area 1, 11, to Banex junction and snake through Apo and Kabusa. Lokogoma/Gudu, currently has over 40 estates, 300 units of houses and 400,000 residents, that is according to chairman, Lokogoma Development Association, Dr Joseph Nnorom.
Managing Director, Ebeano Supermarkets, Lokogoma branch, Chidi Kossi, stated that the magnanimity of the company to build the road was not because it has sufficient money to pelts around “as some may have said or thought”, but to alleviate the plights of residents.
Citing one of the donors, Sunday Egede, Kossi said: “Your hunger for the betterment of others will attract the attention and resources of the almighty God. Investment in infrastructure is in line with Ebeano’s well-known interventions in important sectors such as education and health.”
Quoting another donor, David Ojei, the managing director, noted: “The destiny of Nigeria is in the hands of Nigerians. This is why it has become imperative for all of us to become partners in the development of our nation.”
On their parts, Egede and Ojei, who declined declaring the amount spent, categorically stated that building the road was not for the sake of showmanship or to be given any chieftaincy titles or to seek political endorsement or to boost their brand, but to link one street to another to help people.
Nnorom recounted the ordeals residents, through the association were subjected in ensuring that the community got a facelift, saying the association entered all available offices in the FCDA, but got only a culvert and 100 mitres road.
But, like Oliver Twist, he appealed for the installation of street and traffic lights, pointing out that the road would be busy with business activities and vehicular movement, adding that those who normally take from Area 1, Games Village, to Galadimawa roundabout would likely change the shorter route:
“Ebeano is not the richest business entity in Abuja. But because of the DNA of their business which is philanthropy and development.
“This is pure magic because we have done everything possible and entered every available offices in the FCDA, and at the end of the day, what we achieved was a culvert and 100 mitres road for our efforts of four years. But with a snap of the fingers, we now have 3.2 kilometres.
“As we commission this road, we have to anticipate some problems. We want to ask all of us who are protagonist of development to assist us install traffic lights at the four roads. Technically speaking, these traffic lights should be at the roads so that the centre will be free.”
The road is expected to be dualised, according to the FCT master plan. Regardless, residents and business owners said they should be allowed to enjoy the transformation of the road for now pending the dualisation.