Fix federal roads linking Abia to her neighboring States on time: Ikpeazu urges FG, contractors

The state Abia State Governor,  Okezie Ikpeazu, has said his administration was poised at embarking on infrastructural projects that would improve the living conditions of the residents of the state.

He said the state was at the verge of a total economic isolation given to the nature of the roads linking the State to her neighboring States by the time he took over the reins of power in 2015.

Ikpeazu who spoke on Wednesday in Aba the commercial hub of the State called on contractors handling many Federal roads linking other states to the city to expedite action and deliver them on time.

He pointed out that not delivering such roads on time would on paint a picture of a deliberate plan to isolate the city.

Ikpeazu assured the people of the state that his administration will take advantage of the coming dry season to do massive works on all the road contracts under the state government.

He said,  "Aba is the economic life wire of Abia State. The inability of customers from Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa and other neighbouring states to easily access Aba brought about the feeling us such a negative plot against Abia State.

We want the contractors handling Federal road projects that link Aba to neighbouring states to see the pains of the people and do their best to ameliorate such pains.

"The thought of a deliberate attempt to seize Abia by the jugular and squeeze the life out of her, remains in his head if those roads are fixed on time.

"if you can let me and my people receive visitors and patrons from neighbouring states who come to buy our goods, what you're doing is to isolate my people."

"At some point, I began to feel that there is a conspiracy to stagnant the economic life wire of a state like Abia. Quickly take your mind back to 2014, which road would have used to Ikot-Ekpene? 

"You're in Aba you can't go to Ikot-Ekpene, Port Harcourt and Enugu. You're in Umuahia, you can't go to Ikot-Ekpene. So, we're supposed to have been isolated as people living in Siberia and left to die?

Ikpeazu pointed out  that It took the initiative of his government to open up an alternative route that now brings people from Akwa-Ibom State to Aba who constitute 60% of Aba's clientele into the city. 

"Cut off that alternative route, you cut off oxygen from this city and everybody will start crying. At a point, I threatened to roll out machines to get the road from Aba to Port Harcourt fixed because of how important it is. 

"Our people who go to the Oil Mill Market in Port Harcourt cannot go again. Anybody who goes from Aba to Port Harcourt cannot come back that same day." He stated.

The Governor stated that it was worrisome that contractor mobilized by the Federal Ministry of Works stopped the state government from reconstructing the Old Aba-Owerri Road, but has refused to work on the same road.

"I mobilized a contractor for N3 billion to do the Old Aba-Owerri Road (Ekeakpara Road). The idea was to do the first three kilometres with rigid pavement technology from Osisioma Junction to the NNPC Depot because of the heavy-duty vehicles that stay there. 

"Then the rest of the road will be done normal very well too down to Umuikaa. Midway to that project, somebody came that he had a contract to do that road from the Federal Government. And up till today, nothing has been done. 

"We've written more than six letters on that. Our plans on that road were better and more cost-effective yet nothing is coming out of it. We left to avoid litigation from their contractor, but they've refused to do anything. 

"You wouldn't do the work, you wouldn't let me do the work, so you want to create a Siberia here. However, as I heard in South Africa, we're the children of those who refused to die. 

"I'll keep pushing for the interest of our people. And let me say that if that NNPC Depot stops working, the entire South-East not just Abia will suffer from the supply of petroleum products." He said.

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