By Jude Atupulazi
Indigenes of Nneyi Umueri in Anambra-East Local Government Area of Anambra State have drawn the attention of Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo to the poor construction of Afia-Ama-Ogbu-Mgbede-Nneyi Road in the community.
The road which they said was constructed shortly before the end of Willie Obiano’s administration, has started to develop cracks and potholes which, they said, could turn to death traps.
The people alleged that Afia-Ama-Ogbu-Mgbede-Nneyi Road was constructed with substandard materials in spite of the huge sums of money the state government mobilised the contractor with.
They contended that the said road had no drainages, resulting in heavy flooding on the road and deterioration as community dwellers had resorted to patching bad portions of the road that had become more like craters.
Some of the indigenes who spoke with Fides appealed to Governor Soludo to prevail on the contractor who handled the road project to revisit the Nneyi axis of the road for reconstruction to avoid further deterioration on the road.
Mr. Anikpe Joseph Obelue, who hails from Nneyi Umueri, saud the road had no reason to deteriorate to the level it had because it was constructed not long ago. He said the reason it had deteriorated was because it was constructed with substandard materials.
Apart from Afia-Ama-Ogbu-Mgbede-Nneyi Road, Mr. Anikpe Joseph Obelue also appealed to Governor Soludo to consider the construction of the second phase of the road leading to Anambra Airport while thanking the governor for his quick intervention on erosion control at Metchie Road, Otuocha, as well as the erosion control behind Anambra-East Local Government Secretariat, Otuocha, and the renovation of Umueri General Hospital.
Chief Ikechukwu Egwuonwu, also of Nneyi Umueri, said it was surprising to them that despite the huge sums of money allocated to the construction of Afia-Ama-Ogbu-Mgbede-Nneyi Road, the road was already in bad shape not too long after it was constructed.
Chief Egwuonwu alleged that the asphalt used in constructing the road was substandard which, according to him, was the remote reason the road was already developing cracks waiting to unleash catastrophe on the community.
He therefore emphasized the dire need for Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo to direct the contractor to go back and do the needful to save Nneyi Umueri of impending tragedies, adding that Afia-Ama-Ogbu-Mgbede-Nneyi Road was strategic because it connected the entire Umueri community.
Nnaemeka Obiekwe of Umunnaba Village, Nneyi, Umueri, told Fides that further dilapidation on the road would amount to destruction of property along the road.
Obiekwe disclosed that during the construction of Afia-Ama-Ogbu-Mgbede-Nneyi Road, the Ministry of Works came for inspection and discovered that the contractor was executing a shoddy job and directed the contracting company to ensure that the road was constructed according to specifications; which, he said, the contractor failed to comply with.
According to him, Afia-Ama-Ogbu-Mgbede-Nneyi Road is always impassable whenever it rained. He said his poultry farm had been destroyed due to the deplorable condition of the road. He however requested that government should compel the contractor to go back and reconstruct the road because it had been paid for.
Furthermore Emmanuel Mbanefo, an indigene of Obosi, in Idemili-North Local Government Area, but residing at Mgbede Umueri, said the road in question was not strong enough and that the level of dilapidations on the road at a very short period after construction undermined the huge resources committed to it, even as he pointed out that Afia-Ama-Ogbu-Mgbede-Nneyi Road was not a busy road.
An octogenarian, Chief Gabriel Obiekwe Aghadinuno, of Umunnaba Ekpe Nneyi Umueri, who spoke in an emotion laden voice, said without mincing words that the road was poorly constructed, adding that it was not up to 6 months after construction that the road became a nightmare to the community.
The 85 year old Chief Aghadinuno maintained that it was of paramount importance that Governor Soludo prevailed on the contractor who constructed the road to return to site because the Afia-Ama-Ogbu-Mgbede-Nneyi Road Project was poorly executed.
Mrs. Christiana Igbemu who is a native of Mmanoma, Nneyi, Umueri, said the road was done shabbily and there were no roads in Nneyi Community.
The 58 year old woman remonstrated that it was not possible to construct a road without drainages, noting that whenever it rained, pedestrians and motorists found it extremely difficult to use the road.
Mrs. Igbemu who made reference to the Nteje Road constructed by Dr. Chris Ngige’s administration, said the road was still very solid after many years of construction but the Afia-Ama-Ogbu-Mgbede-Nneyi Road which was constructed barely 3 years ago had already become a shadow of itself.
She said apart from the deplorable condition of the road, Nneyi Umueri was suffering perennial power outage: yet Enugu Electricity Distribution Company still billed them at the end of every month for electricity they didn’t consume.
She complained bitterly that politicians only remembered them during elections when they come for campaigns and thereafter they disappear into the air till another election season.
Although she was cognisant that Nneyi Health Centre was functional, she stated that they didn’t have roads and whenever it rained, they could not go to the farm to harvest food crops.
She therefore appealed to the state government to construct roads with drainages, provide electricity and equally provide teachers at Community Development Primary School, Nneyi, Umueri, because they were lacking teachers in the school.