By Steve Unegbu
Aware of the decay and deplorable condition of the roads in Aba when he came on board,but certain of his ability to steer the course of giving Enyimba city people good roads, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu applied a number of measures including scientific methods so as to recover the city of Aba.
My chairman Chief Paddy Anyatonwu and myself as the General secretary led our esteemed comrades to Governor's lodge Aba and heard from the horse's mouth .
"In 2015 when I assumed office I took this job with alot of passion mixed with emotional pain that arose because of the decay I saw on ground . The fact is that no leader can do everything for his subjects.
"I recall one Saturday when I came back from church something pushed me to go to somewhere around Ngwa road,Osusu road, Omuma road,Obohia road,Ohanku road and I drove myself because I did not go with the paraphernalia of a Governor. I packed somewhere and was taking a walk as I was walking along the street,TEARS STARTED COMING DOWN MY EYES, because I noticed that all the houses both right and left had to use baton to close their windows and if you look at the marks on the wall, you could see that water was actually threatening the window level .
"All you could feel with your feet were dead rats,dead chickens and all kind of nonsense and I said waoooo so people live in these places? and I promised them that I was going to come on the Monday,that was two days from that day and that day I came, we started all these roads we did there which are now standing. We introduced rigid cement technology,that was our response to water having trouble sitting in a particular place.
"I said to them first of all, I am apologizing for those who had been there before me they needed to have given you people attention.
"For 20 years no body had done any road in that area,but today we have done many of the roads .Is that what I will be advertising?
“Go to Omuma road phase 2, they are clearing that road now, you will see pawpaw trees and other things flourishing on the road. That was how Osusu road was. If you want to work on Osusu, there’s no how you will put just laterite and overlay on the road and expect it to last for a long time. So we introduced the rigid cement technology and I can name the roads where it was used. I’m doing that so we can recover our cities. If I did only 10 roads, I expect my successor to start from road number 11 and with that, we can recover our roads instead of throwing away the State’s money.
“This will give you an insight into the way I think. Doing all these requires resilience and deep thinking.Unfortunately, our people are impatient. They like the dining table but do not know what’s happening in the kitchen. It has taken me four years to do Aba-Owerri road because I had to take away the water that usually sits at Ngwa High School. I spent N30 million doing palliative work there and I swore I won’t try that again. I asked where the water will be channelled to and I was told it will be at Rhema University which is about 3 kilometres. Just to take away the water at Ngwa High School, I did the drainage which solved the problem of flooding at the Anglican Church and Ngwa High School.
“It is not that those who came before me did not do any road in Aba, they did, including a few interventions here and there in Aba even Umuahia.
“During the administration of Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, he did so many interventions on the Aba-Umuahia road, even my predecessor also did an overlay on that road but all of these failed. So my first question will be, why did it fail? So that I won’t do my own and it will fail. That’s why I brought in Arab contractors and they had to do a special technology taking into cognizance the underground water that passes through. And that road has been standing for about 5 years. If I didn’t ask the right questions or employ the right tools, I would not have achieved that feat.”
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