The residents of Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State has told the state government led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to hasten up in its bid in rebuilding the city.
The residents, mainly those residing in Port Harcourt road, in an interview with ABACITYBLOG correspondent faulted the excuses given by the state commissioner for works, Honourable Eziuche Ubani, which he claimed that the removal of pegs placed by Setraco Construction Company by residents of Port Harcourt Road is the reason why there is a delay in executing the project.
It should be recalled that on Tuesday, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in company of three commissioners had a widely broadcast quarterly interaction with Aba residents on the journey so far with the state of Aba roads among the hot topics discussed.
The Commissioner of Works during the interaction said: “On the Port Harcourt Road, contractors are on site contrary to what people are saying. But there are some preliminaries you need to take care of before the graders begin their work.
“You need to take levels. And those levels, you find out where you’re going to drain the water. That’s about 6.7 kilometres of road and we are going to do drainage from beginning to the end.
“Because that place is also substantially flat, we need to find where we are going to take water from Port Harcourt Road to Aba River.
“We are very disappointed that the surveyors are working, but people who are living in that area who have been making a lot of noise on radio everyday, are throwing away the pegs and disturbing the contractors from working.
“They are complaining about the slow pace of work. If we don’t conclude the preliminaries there is nothing we can do on that road. So, we need to make a choice as Aba people whether we want that road so fast or we don’t want it. The governor has made all the arrangements and paid the money to the contractors and that’s why they are on site.
“So, if the people who live in that area don’t help us, if the Aba people don’t help us, then it’s going to be slower than they are complaining about now. And that will be unfortunate.
“That will be like undermining the plan of the governor who has worked day and night to get money in these tough times to ensure that Port Harcourt Road is restored to what it is supposed to be.
Meanwhile, after the radio interaction, ABACITYBLOG correspondent went round the city to get responses and reactions of the people based on some of the issues raised concerning the state of roads in Aba.
Speaking to ABACITYBLOG, a resident of Port Harcourt Road, who gave his name simply as Mr. Paul said the government of Abia state is built on excuses.
He said: “This government has a farm where they grow different brands of excuses. They have mastered and crammed them all. We had hoped that they could help us following the mess we found ourselves in the past eight years, but it’s looking dark although better than the eight years before them.
“This issue of removing pegs came up three weeks ago, they also brought it up on radio and up till now, nobody has been arrested, yet they are still saying it either as another excuse or to attract cheap sympathy.
“They don’t look serious. There are so many construction works in Aba yet to complete an important road had eluded them for two years now. They know the important roads in Aba, but why they keep telling stories is surprising. Did anybody remove the pegs on Aba Owerri Road to have taken the state government more than two years since their swearing-in to build just a drainage of which more than half has not been completed?
“Did anybody remove pegs to justify the slow work going on at Faulks Road? The excuse for Faulks Road getting close to two years now is Ife Obara Basin. Let them give genuine excuse like rain which we are used to because this peg removal issue is childish. Get the perpetrators arrested and construct the road, simple.”
In the same vein, another resident who spoke anonymously said he was tired of hearing contractors are on site without results. “I wonder if it’s only in Aba that rain fails. I’m tired of hearing contractors are working. I do go to Akwa Ibom State for business and I see construction work; but here, they will say rain is their problem.
“Now, they want to accuse the people of this area of being responsible for the delay. My question is, if this government is serious, why can’t they apprehend these people. Will any serious government allow some idiots to ruin others’ happiness? To be sincere to you, I think they are trying to introduce other delay tactics. They are not serious to help us.”
Meanwhile the Abia State Governor Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, during the interaction vowed to deal vehemently with anyone caught removing pegs on the road. “Just to embellish what the Honourable commissioner said, those people on Port Harcourt Road that remove pegs, they are hoodlums that hide under the cover of bad roads to perpetrate their crimes.
Whenever there is a failure of road, it becomes impossible to police that area. My word to them is that, they’ll be apprehended, arrested and prosecuted.”