By Evergreen Stanley
The residents of Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road road has cried out to the Federal Government to come to their rescue over the deplorable condition of Aba-Ikot-Ekpene Road in Aba, Abia State. The road links Aba to Akwa Ibom and Cross River in Nigeria, and Cameroon in Central Africa.
The Aba section of the road, Ehere, Umuokpo and Onitcha Ngwa axis of Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State was overrun by mud water and green grasses.
It could be recall that Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road has been awarded by the federal government without success. On December 13, 2012, the road was awarded to Arab Contractors OAO Nigeria Limited at the cost of N3.780 billion but was abandoned mid way. The contractor ran to the Ministry of Works complaining that the contract was undervalued. Thereafter FEC approved additional N6.17 billion in 2018. It was later listed as one of the ongoing roads in South East by Hon.Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information.
After Nine good years, the said road is completely abandoned thereby forcing all the business in that axis to shut down abruptly, creating unemployment, hunger, and social vises among others.
In 2018, The member representing Obingwa East State Constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly Hon. Solomon Akpulonu while chatting with his Constituents stated that the road is seriously affecting his Constituents who are predominantly farmers and the economy of the state.
“I’m begging the Federal Government to urgently commence rehabilitation work on the abandoned Aba–ikot Ekpene Road. Many communities in Obingwa East State Constituency have been cut off from Aba and the neighbouring towns in Akwa Ibom State due to the deplorable condition of this road,” he said.
It could be recall that the Minister of Works and Housing, Hon. Babatunde Fashola visited the same road in 2018 with the promise that urgent attention would be given to the road. As at today we’re yet to see the attention as his visit is yet to bear any fruit.