May 21, 2024
FENRAD to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, “Are you still working with Aba Master plan?”
FENRAD to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, "Are you still working with Aba Master plan?"
– By Alison_Godswill

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FENRAD to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, “Are you still working with Aba Master plan?”

As a leading civil society and environmental rights advocacy group in Abia State, Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development, FENRAD has raised concern over the works by Governor Ikpeazu-led administration after visiting Azikiwe Road, former Ahiaudele Market, Faulk’s, and Osusu roads respectively for an on-the-spot assessment.

FENRAD wishes to ask the state government why the ongoing works on the road divider along Azikiwe Road would block connecting roads like Ube, Adazi, York, and others that connect to the collector Azikiwe Road and help in decongesting traffic and vehicular queueing.

In a bid to divide Azikiwe Road for traffic safety purposes, the said works (which focused on the road divider and not the road itself) have reduced the ease with which traffic flowed hitherto, worsening traffic conditions for commuters and road users. It remains a phenomenon why a road people used when Abia was part of what used to be East Central State would suddenly witness a change in a landscape like this. It is on record that the eponymous Ochefu Road, connecting to Azikiwe Road, came from the name of one of the former military administrators of East Central State, Col. Anthony Aboki Ochefu who presided over the state then created by Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s regime in the mid-’70s!

The said Azikiwe Road, FENRAD recalls, has remained not only a major collector road but a historic landmark in the entire Aba city without any physical barrier like presently seen, from the days of military governors like Anthony Ochefu, Ndubuisi Kanu, Adekunle Shamshudeen Lawal and Sunday Ajebade Adenihun who handed over to Dee Sam Mbakwe (of blessed memory) during the transition to Second Republic on October one, 1979. From Sam Mbakwe the baton went to Ike Nwachukwu and then Allison Madueke, later to Amadi Guy Ikwechegh and then to Anthony Oguguo who was the Milad (military administrator) when Abia was created with Frank Ajobena as her first military administrator in 1991. After Frank Ajobena, Ogbonnaya Onu (who was the first executive governor of Abia State) was next at the saddle, then came Chinyere Ike Nwosu, later Temi Ejoor, Moses Fasanya and Anthony Obi all had their days in ofice before the current democratic dispensation where the trio of Orji Uzor Kalu, Theodore Ahamefula Orji and the incumbent Ikpeazu would later govern. This is the chequered journey of Azikiwe Road through coups d’etat, transitions and republics in Nigeria. Why didn’t anyone of these aforementioned governors (whether military or elected executive), from Anthony Aboki Ochefu to Theodore Ahamefula Orji who handed over to Ikpeazu do what the latter has done with Azikiwe Road? Is this part of the plan of Enyimba city or a new master plan developed by Ikpeazu to transform the city, FENRAD asks.

FENRAD wishes to remind Commissioner for Works Elder Bob Nwogwu, that there is need to intervene in Azikiwe Road as works on the dual carriageway have congested Azikiwe by East resulting in all manner of vehicles plying East by former Ahiaudele Market route which has now collapsed again (for the second time in less than three years after re/construction) due to heavy traffic pressure.

Also does the Foundation call on commissioners (for works and environment) to visit ‘already completed’ road projects like Osusu, Faulk’s, Azikiwe, Ogbor Hill and few others where flood has remained perennial since the rain returned. FENRAD worries why construction works rather than ease traffic flow would complicate same. It calls on the state government to pay a visit to the mentioned sites as part of its due diligence mechanism, and evaluate and monitor what is being done or has been done so as to intervene where necessary, failing which Aba landscape may be lost becoming hard to recover.

The Foundation also calls on the State House of Assembly members representing Aba and as well the entire state legislature and its works committee to do the needful.

The Foundation, by this, only wishes to remind the state government the need to act timely!

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