Journalists from the South-East Geo-Political Zone, on Wednesday decried the state of roads in the area and appealed to governors from the zone to urgently intervene to halt loss of lives.
The journalists under the auspices of Izunwanne, a group of journalists of Southeast origin, made the appeal in a statement issued by Messrs Abuchi Anueyiagu and Ngwuoke Ngwuoke Chairman and Secretary of the group respectively.
According to the statement, the call on the governors of the Southeast states to rehabilitate or reconstruct federal and state highways in deplorable conditions was imminent to curb the incessant carnage on the roads..
Izunnwane decried the life-threatening condition of federal roads in the zone and urged the governors to intervene to reduce the sufferings of the people.
They listed no fewer than eight federal roads that the group wanted the governors to take up as a regional challenge.
The roads include the Enugu-9th Mile Corner Ngwo highway, the 9th Mile Corner Ngwo-Nsukka road, the Amawbia-Ekwulobia-Akokwa-Orlu-Owerri road, the Okigwe-Owerri road, the Ihiala-Orlu-Anara-Umuahia road.
Also on the list are, the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene road, the Umuahia-Aba-Obigbo road, the Okigwe-Nnewi-Oba road and many other federal roads in the zone.
“IZUNWANNE believes that the deplorable state of federal highways and many state roads across the zone are very suggestive of the insensitivity of the governments to the wellbeing of the people.
“If the governments are genuinely concerned about the fatal consequences of leaving the roads in their present states, they will have long addressed the issue and put the roads in the right conditions.
“Though some of the roads belong to the federal government and fall under the responsibility of that tier of government to maintain them, it is evident the citizens of these states make the most and greater use of the roads daily for their economic and social activities.
“It should have touched the hearts of the governors to take it as a priority to repair, rehabilitate or reconstruct the roads first and later seek for a refund.
“Chris Ngige, Peter Obi, and Sullivan Chime did this when they were governors and carried out repairs and reconstruction of some federal roads in their respective states for the benefit of the people.
“It is unfair for the state governments to close their eyes to the plight of their citizens by not carrying out intervention measures to keep the roads in good condition, for the sake of their people”, Izunwanne stated.
The group described the Enugu-9th Mile Corner Ngwo section of the Enugu-Onitsha highway as a death trap and an embarrassment to all.
It said the section should attract the priority attention of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu.
“Izunwanne feels that the bad condition of the roads is a significant drawback to the development and growth of the South-East Geo-Political Zone.
“Our people are extremely mobile. They engage in industrial, economic, agricultural, and social activities in an unquantifiable magnitude.
”The absence of good roads is akin to passing a death sentence on the people”, IZUNWANNE noted.
“Our governors should not encourage the notion that they are wittingly encouraging and supporting calculated moves to cripple the forward movement of socio-economic activities in the zone.
“The people of the South-East Geo-Political Zone have invested so much in the sustenance of democracy, and they deserve commensurate dividends of democracy” Izunwanne stated.
They appealed to the governors to seize the opportunity of the imminent dry season to demonstrate their commitment to good governance by embarking on massive rehabilitation, repairs or reconstruction of failed federal government roads and other roads in the zone.
According to Izunwanne the intervention will bring relief and benefit to the people who voted them into office. (NAN)