NDDC’s Alleged Ineptitude On Road Rehabilitation Provokes Onicha-Ugbo Youths

By Frank Oshanugor

The youths of Onicha-Ugbo and Idumuje-Ugboko communities in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State have embarked on mass protest as they could no longer tolerate the deplorable state of their road which has turned nightmare for travellers, residents and drivers who drive through it daily.

It has become another tale of lamentation for motorists and indigenes of the two communities as the Abuja-Onicha-Ugbo road constructed over 12years ago by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has failed totally, putting residential houses in Ogbekenu village in particular at Onicha-Ugbo in grave environmental danger.

The youths at the weekend had chosen to embark on mass protest even as they blamed the management of the NDDC for alleged ineptitude and gross irresponsibility.

AtlanticNewsonline gathered that the youths demanded quick action on the road before the rainy season sets in, as its present state has become a burden to residents of Onicha-Ugbo, which has in recent times triggered multiple erosions in the community.

A visit to the road depicts total neglect by the NDDC. According to a resident, Lawrence Izuegbu, “this road is a death trap and has become a burden to my community. I am so pained and would like the Federal Government and the agency responsible for the maintenance of this road to act fast before we record a colossal damage.

“We have been crying out when the road was not as bad as this. We were not taken serious. However, we cannot take this anymore. We are prepared to go on a protest march to Abuja because the state of the road is affecting our houses and crops. How can you construct a major highway like this without proper drainage?”

A commercial bus driver travelling to Abuja said: “We have been suffering this for a long time. At times, we spend three days travelling to Abuja because of the state of this road. We want the government to take action because this is the shortest route to Abuja, Auchi and Okene.”

  According to one of the respected chiefs in the town, “It is called Abuja Road. It is the shortest access way from South East and South South Nigeria to Abuja and the North. It links Onitsha Benin City Expressway at Onicha Ugbo junction with Idumuje Ugboko, Ewohimi, Ekpoma, Ubiaja, Irrua, Auchi to Abuja and beyond.

  “There is a kilometer stretch of road in Ogbekenu Onicha Ugbo passing in front of Emeka’s house that has failed continuously since it was built by NDDC over 10 years ago. Even Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and Ned Nwoko have tried to repair it. NDDC has a zero percent track record in maintaining anything they build.

“The road keeps being seriously damaged by hundreds of Dangote and BUA cement trailers, luxurious buses and other heavy vehicles passing through daily. The damaged area is so deep in some parts that it routinely swallows a whole Dangote Cement trailer during the rainy season.

  “It is this road that has transformed Onicha Ugbo into an important junction town bubbling with commercial activities. The State and local Governments do not want to intervene because of the deep rooted corruption at NDDC.

  “There is always the fear that if the road is repaired by anyone other than NDDC, that the corrupt officials there would award themselves an identical contract to repair the road and pocket the funds. The conundrum here is that it is near impossible to get NDDC to do the needful hence the intense frustration being displayed by Onicha-Ugbo and Idumuje-Ugboko youths.”

Onicha-Ugbo is a town made up of five villages, with over 30,000 inhabitants in Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State, Nigeria. The town’s traditional ruler is the Obi of Onicha-Ugbo; Agbogidi Victor Chukwumalieze 1.

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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