The Hope of Communities in Ofeme in getting delivery of a Road Project from Dangote group of companies on a record time has been dashed as the Company has abandoned the Road project.
Investigation revealed that the Okpara Round constructed by the then Premier of the defunct Eastern Region has detorriated to the level that it has become not motorable even in dry season.
It was further gathered that since the end of the war in 1970, no government both military or civilian had intervened to rehabilitate the road.
The Road which is the only road to Ofeme through the Enugu Port Harcourt Express way, intra community movements is not possible with vehicle.
Ofeme was once home to the biggest weekly market in the old Ikwuano Umuahia, the ‘Afor Umuda’. But today not only has it stopped functioning so was all the other markets within the clan.
However in 2018, hope returned to the Communities when President Mohammadu Buhari, it was learnt signed an executive order 9, mandating Dangote group to reconstruct the said road.
According to a source, the road which has remained abandoned has become a Campaign platform for politicians who after the initial flag off, abandon the road project.“We have heard stories like this many times in the past, in fact it’s always politicians campaign topic to get our votes, after which we are abandoned to our fate, hence we no longer take them serious.
According to the source it was gathered”in 2007 the the gov Orji Uzor Kalu was said to have awarded the road, In 2009, Sen TA Orji, then governor, also was said to have awarded the road, in fact, a flag off was held in Umuagu and our people brought all manner of farm produce to show our appreciation.
The source further disclosed that the Okpara road linked Umuahia with Isiukwuato Communities”But soon after, the contractor handling the project moved out of site, that ended the matter. So, the Dangote issue wouldn’t have excited us if not because our son Dr Okechukwu Enelamah who was then a minister of the Federal Republic was involved. Today, our road is worst off”. He said.
Our Correspondent learnt that shortly before the 2019 general election, the then Minister for Trade, Investment and Industry, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah an indigene of Ofeme , flagged off the construction of the road and promised that within 3years, Dangote group will complete the project.
According to the source, the former minister had boosted then that since the road project was coming from President Buhari that the constructed road will be delivered within 3 Years, even if he remains in government or not.“Soon after the flag off, the Contracted Company to construct the road came with Heavy and state of the art equipment, began grading of the roads to the joy of the people.“But few days to the election, work stopped, when, questions were asked, they claimed that they paused for the election to take place.“We believed them because all their equipments were still in our community, in fact the houses the staff rented had not expired, so there was nothing to worry about.“But soon after the election, we noticed they started moving out their equipments, again we asked question, but was told they just needed to use it somewhere close, we kept quiet.“When we realised that they were pulling out it had become too late for us to act. We staged a protest, called on the management of Dangote group not to treat us that way, that they should at least put back our road the way it was before their arrival to enable us move around.“My brother, they left us worse than they met us.
Today we are a laughing stock among committee of communities. We had a minister, and nothing to show for it”. the source lamented.