By Abdallah el-Kurebe, Editor
The member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South federal constituency, Rep. Sam Onuigbo has stated that the first phase of the reconstruction of the Umuahia-Ikwuano-Ikot Ekpene federal road would commence soon.
According to a statement made available to Newsdiaryonline Sunday, Onuigbo was speaking to newsmen in Umuariaga Oboro, in Ikwuano LGA, when he led the delegation from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, who came to confirm the design for the dualization of the road from Abia Tower to Ikot Ekpene, to meet with traditional rulers at the palace of His Royal Highness Eze Ugochukwu Ejirika.
The member explained that the first phase of the project would terminate close to Amawom Oboro, while the second phase would then continue from there.
The statement recalled the member’s meeting with Fashola on June 14, 2016 and his two requests of palliative work which was done in 2017, and total reconstruction, pointing out that the minister had been very responsive to his requests.
Onuigbo who stressed the importance of the road as it links several states such as Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Cross River and even the Cameroon with Abia, pointed out that the road was a major economic access point for the country as oil prospecting and oil servicing equipment and other important economic products are conveyed to other parts of the country through it.
He further stressed that while the first phase of the dualization would stop at Amawom, there were several failed sections of the road between Okwe-Ariam which would not be captured by the first phase of the dualization.
It creates the need for the federal government to come to the rescue of the people by rehabilitating those failed sections before the commencement of the second phase of the job.
He thanked the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola for the feat.
Addressing the traditional rulers and other leaders from Ikwuano, Umuahia North/South and Akwa Ibom state, the leader of the delegation from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Engineer Emmanuel Adama, said that his team came to confirm the submission made by their consultant — Hancock Ogundiya & Partners — for the dualization of the road from Abia Tower to Amawom.
He said the consultant had submitted his report already, and they only came to see things for themselves and file their report before the contract could be awarded.
Engineer Adama said that he and his team have inspected the road up to Ikot Ekpene so as to take note of the areas that have failed and thus would need to be rehabilitated.
He said the noted sections will be captured in their report, so that something can be done as quickly as possible.
Reacting, the chairman, Ikwuano Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Highness, Eze Ugochukwu Ejirika said the people of Ikwuano are dumbfounded by the fact that this dream is becoming a reality.
He said the people of Ikwuano are very proud of Rep. Onuigbo for his effective representation and for being a man of his words, and called on Engr. Adama to convey to the Minister how appreciative the people are and to tell him that they will never forget him when this dream becomes a reality.
Eze Ejirika re-affirmed that the road has totally collapsed again hence the need for urgent action.
He said that the 2017 palliative work which was facilitated by Rep. Onuigbo, helped a lot to ameliorate the sufferings of commuters.
The traditional ruler noted that the people are aware that there will be a price to pay in terms of the demolition of some houses, but they are ready to bear the pains since the gains will be worth it.
He told the delegates that on behalf of Ikwuano people, Ndi Eze are assuring them that they should go and work without fear.