By Emma Iheaka
It was the immediate past government of Imo State led by Chief Ikedi Ohakim that started the construction of this road. The road is meant to start from Onitsha Road, cross Orlu Road at Amakohia, Okigwe Road at Orji, Egbu Road and end at Aba Road. The part captured in picture is the Amakohia part of the road leading to Orji. The road is also meant to carry fly-over at two strategic places, Amakohia and Orji. The contract for the road was awarded to Raycon Construction Company.
The construction was going on, though at a slow pace before the 2 oil general elections came calling. At the end of the poll, Chief Ohakim was shown the exit door. He lost re-election. As a result, work stopped on the road.
The essence of the road was to ease traffic in the major roads in Owerri city. For instance, anyone going to Aba Road from Onitsha Road from Onitsha Road may not need to take the ever busy Douglas or Wetheral Road. The person can access his way easily through this road.
When the incumbent governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha took over the leadership of the state, some people had doubt about the prospect of continuing and completing the road project. The people’s doubt was informed by the fact that politicians in the country do not delight in completing projects started by their predecessors, especially when they so not belong to the same political party. So, they felt Governor Okorocha could toe same path.
No sooner the governor assumed office than he began to confirm the people’s doubt. Governor Okorocha was quoted as saying that Owerri does not need fly-overs. Later, the governor said the contract sum of the project was inflated. He said government was re-negotiating with the contract firm for a cut on the cost of the road.
However, as the contractors departed from the road, erosion took over. Erosion started working on the road. Motorists and pedestrians have been managing the road. But today, what began small has expanded to a gully. The gully expanda each time the heaven baptizes the earth. The erosion has cut off the two lanes of the road. Motorists have been making use of what was supposed to be the pedestrian way. The road indeed has turned to a death trap.
There had been no casualty until recently, precisely last Sunday, September 23, 2012. After the downpour on that Sunday night, a car fell into the gully. Residents of the area said the owner of the car was returning during the torrential rainfall. At a point, he could no long drive through the road due to its bad state. The man decided to park the car-and trekked home.
By the following morning, the car was no longer above the ground, but beneath. It has been buried. What happened to the driver? Did he die? How did he come out? These were the questions on the lips of passers-by who saw the car lying inside the ground on Monday morning. The residents of the area however provided the answer. They narrated that the ground caved in after the owner of the car alighted when he could no longer continue his journey.
When Nigeria Newspoint called, some youths were seen at the scene watching the incident in amazement. Some of them wondered why government has not done any work on the road to check the ravaging erosion. They pleaded with the state government to do something urgently to prevent the occurrence of any further disaster on the road.
“Please let the governor see and hear about this so that he will do something urgently, one of the youths said.
Source Nigeria Newspoint