Hope rises as Uzodimma begins work on Otamiri bridge to link native
To say that many people, especially the inhabitants of Ihiagwa, Eziobodo, Obinze and the adjoining communities, are already in a jubilant mood, is merely stating the obvious. They are happy because their long suffering, occasioned by the extremely deplorable Naze-Nekede-Ihiagwa-Obinze road, will soon be over!
What villagers from any of the communities will readily tell any sincere inquirer, about the Naze-Nekede-Ihiagwa-Obinze road, are principally, four-fold.
One is that villagers and commuters on this hopeless road, have suffered untold hardship and deprivation, for years.
Secondly, the road leads to the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, the Nigeria Police Training School, Nekede and the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, FUTO.
Next is the fact that this 14.7 kilometer road was last paved by the late Chief Sam Onunaka Mbakwe administration, during the second republic and was subsequently ignored and/or sadly allowed to degenerate to a grotesque level, by successive federal and state administrations.
The next point that will readily hit your ear is that the Senator Hope Uzodimma administration opted to continue the reconstruction of the road, from where his predecessor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, left it.
The first phase of this road project, which was completed by the present administration and commissioned in 2021, by President Muhammadu Buhari, when he visited Imo State, ended a few metres away from the Polytechnic gate.
The good thing is that the contracting firm handling the project, has since been mobilized, to commence work on the second phase of this all important road. It is heartwarming and worthy of commendation that the collapsed bridge, linking Obinze with Ihiagwa, on this critical road, was successfully pulled down completely, while the construction of a brand new bridge has commenced!
A staff of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, who spoke on strict grounds of anonymity, said: “Work on this road is a salutary watershed in the development of Imo state, by the Governor Hope Uzodimma administration. It is, for me, a thing of joy that he decided to construct the Naze-Nekede-Ihiagwa-Obinze road, for the good of the various communities and the two Federal institutions within the area.”
Reacting also, an obviously overjoyed Paulson Okere said: “The Naze-Ihiagwa-Nekede-Obinze link road, had been abandoned for more than two decades, by all the previous administrations in Imo State.
“It is instructive that this particular road leads to two foremost tertiary institutions in the state, namely, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, and Federal Polytechnic, Nekede. There is also a Police Training School at Nekede.
“It also links four large communities, spanning two local government areas of Owerri North and Owerri West. The realization of this particular project is a dream come true for the communities, as well as the staff and students of these institutions, who had suffered greatly before now.”
The Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, CPS, and Media Adviser, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, reacted this way: “The popular Uzii na Abushi bridge connecting residents of Ihiagwa and Obinze communities, is one of the critical projects the action and performing Governor of our state, identified as slowing down and impacting negatively on the socio-economic activities of the communities bordering the area and visitors alike.
“The bridge was among the numerous projects abandoned by previous administrations, and in the case of the Uzii na Aboshi bridge, which collapsed since 2018, had made life miserable for those living on that corridor.
“I recall, during one of the Governor’s inspection tours of the then ongoing Nekede-Ihiagwa-Obinze road and he was asked by the media, to comment on the collapsed bridge and the hardship it was causing the residents.
“His response was simple: ‘We are going to build a befitting bridge, connecting the roads and making movement easy for the people living here and more importantly, to ensure that sanity is restored on the FUTO premises that is now a thoroughfare for all with its security implications’.
“What Governor Hope Uzodimma is demonstrating with the many signature projects dotting the Imo landscape, is nothing but governance with human face.
“Nothing can be as gladdening as when a government endears itself in the heart of the people, with projects that touch them dearly and go a long way in alleviating their hardship.
“It is no longer in doubt that Governor Uzodimma’s 3R mantra, Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Recovery, is catching up positively on the people, both those who belong to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the opposition elements.
Under the able and focused leadership of Governor Uzodimma, Imo State has become one big construction site and that explains why the Governor and well meaning Imo sons and daughters, are clamouring for peace because they know it is sine qua non for progress and development of any society.”
Our Correspondent’s last check before going to press, showed that already, asphalting of the road had reached the Divisional Police Headquarters at Nekede.
A staff of the construction company handling the project, confided in our Correspondent that “the completion of the bridge, which links the two sister communities of Ihiagwa and Obinze, is expected to be realized soon, and would pave the way for the final lap between Ihiagwa and terminating at Obinze, on the Owerri-Port Harcourt express road.
“I will not be surprised if this 14.7 kilometre road, is regarded as one of the signature projects of Governor Hope Uzodimma within the Owerri Capital Territory.
“While this is ongoing, work is also fully being executed along the Mbaise-Umuahia federal highway, at a break neck speed, with asphalt being laid.”