BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI
The people of Amaiyi Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have decried the dangerous condition of the only accessible road to their village, lamenting that no fewer than three persons have died while plying the badly damaged road.
While noting that the mini-bridge along the road was on the verge of cutting off, owing to severe gully erosion, they appealed to governments at all levels for rapid intervention and rehabilitation of the road, which had been tagged “dangerous zone.”
Our correspondent who visited the road, which has been partly severed by erosion, was told that heavy floods had destroyed the road popularly known as “Four Corner”, which links Amaiyi and its neighbouring village, Nguzu Edda.
In an interview with one of the stakeholders of the village, Richard Nkama Ude, he said the poor road had caused the death of three persons, including a middle-aged woman, Mrs. Nnenna Afam; a man identified as Alloy Imo, and another unidentified person.
While seeking the urgent intervention of government, Ude further disclosed that the erosion control was initially done by Uniglobe Construction Company about five years ago but added that, unfortunately, the same spot began to deteriorate, especially during the past rainy seasons. Now, he said the flood had eaten up half of the road, thereby posing danger to the lives of road users.
“Naturally, the road was very bad, even before the civil work. After the construction, there was improvement, but presently, the situation has become pathetic in the sense that the collapsed section of the road has claimed lives and inflicted many others with terminal injuries. The work, being capital-intensive in nature, is beyond our capacity as a village. This is why we are requesting for government’s intervention,” he said.
According to him, the lawmaker representing the area in Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Nkemka Onuma, and the traditional ruler of Edda community, had taken some officials of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency to the area, but after the people had taken some pictures and obtained some information from residents, nothing was done.
“When the crashes in that particular spot became a daily occurrence, we then went to the place and prayed. Thereafter, the problem subsided. It is on this note that we are appealing for assistance because without rapid intervention of the government and other relevant agencies, the bridge will cut our village off from other parts of Afikpo South Local Government Area and Ohaffia in Abia State, when it collapses completely.
“Our major occupation is palm oil production and once the road collapses completely, we will not have access to the main market where the produce can be sold in other parts of Afikpo South LGA or Abia State where we have major buyers,” he lamented.
Another stakeholder, Ogbonnia Agwu, also called for government’s assistance over the dilapidated bridge so that the people of Amaiyi village would not be living in isolation once the structure fails completely.
On his part, the leader of Afikpo South Legislative Council, Orji Uguru Etta, said since the past three years of the deterioration of the double corner, the attention of various agencies had been drawn but, unfortunately, the yearnings of the people had not been met.
He therefore appealed for the intervention of the state government to prevent further loss of lives.