MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Emma Ekebe
A major oil producing community, Uzere in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State was on Sunday cut off from the rest of Isoko nation as the approach to major link bridge across the Eru Creek along the Uzere -Asaba -Ase Federal highway caved in at about 9.30 in the morning.
The Bridge which was built by Construction giant; Julius Berger about forty years ago is on the major Federal Express way to Uzere and terminates at the bank of the River Niger at Asaba Ase in Ndokwa East local government area of the state which is a foremost food hub in Delta State.
Speaking to reporters at the spot of the failed bridge, Chief Jones Agbaka a community leader and one time supervisory Councillor of the Isoko South Council stated that the situation was a serious calamity both to the thousands of road commuters and transporters who ply that route everyday.
He called on the federal government and the Federal Road Maintenance Agency(FERMA) to quickly mobilize to address the situation.
Chief Solomon Enwenede, also from Uzere and one time Local Education Secretary of the Isoko South Education Authority who was one of the early callers at the scene wondered why no attempt was made by the State Federal Controller of Works to do mandatory safety checks on the bridge to avoid this ugly development.
AtlanticNewsonline gathered that as it is now, apart from Uzere, the second place where oil was found in Nigeria after Oloibiri and Asaba -Ase communities ,all other persons from Abare in Patani local government area and Canaan, Abueto, Trofani amongst others in Bayelsa State would have to meander through the longer Irri-Aviara – Uzere road to access their homes for now.
Already, as at the time of filling this report, transport fare from Oleh to Uzere by motor bike has gone to N600 as against the normal N300, while Oleh to Asaba -Ase has shot up to N800 from N500.
Speaking to our reporter at the failed spot, a fish seller at the popular Yanga market in Oleh , Madam Ighisotu who plies the road daily, called on the State government and DESOPADEC to intervene by putting some remedial structure in place pending when the federal government who are the owners of the road will move in to carry out the necessary repairs.
The Uzere -Asaba Ase road was constructed during the General Ibrahim Babangida regime when an illustrious Son of Uzere, Chief Engineer Guy Otobo was the Director of Highways in the Federal Ministry of Works.
As the time of going to press, all attempts to reach the Ovie of Uzere His Royal Majesty Udogri 1 and the Isoko South Council Chairman; Hon Victor Asasa to comment on the incident were abortive.