- UNIZIK students, residents, lament dilapidated condition of Ifite Awka road
- Motorists blame situation on poor reconstruction, maintenance
- Gov. Soludo said the reconstruction contract has been awarded
For the students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Ifite roads have literally become a nightmare and a plague that must be avoided.
Our reporter gathered that Ifite, Awka where majority of off campus students live has constantly been in the news for bad reasons, ranging from insecurity to bad roads.
According to WITHIN NIGERIA exclusive findings, the road which leads to Nnamdi Azikiwe University permanent site and connects the community with other neighbouring communities have gone into serious dilapidation for more than a decade now.
A student of the University, Chidogo Eya told WITHIN NIGERIA that ” since two years ago when I was admitted, that road has become a death trap.”
Narrating further, Mr. Eya stressed that ” according to many students who came before me, this road has been like this for over ten years now. Government seemed to have turned blind eye to the road.”
Another student Chidera Mbadiwe told our reporter that ” the road had gone so bad that many motorists who convey students to the campus no longer ply the road. It is so terrible that many students have to trek from here to lectures everyday.”
Lamenting further, Mbadiwe stressed that “students of Unizik living in Ifite Awka truly need both physical and mental help because they are passing through a lot. What they pass through on daily basis are beyond what a student can bear and still have the sane mind to pass exams.
“From insecurity to deplorable road condition. Just few days ago, a year one student was allegedly killed by stray bullet from Cultists ravaging the area.
“What is the Work of Government if not to protect the lives of it’s citizens?. A School in State Capital is witnessing all these, what of others in remote areas ?
One of the motorists Mr. Julius Okonkwo told WITHIN NIGERIA that the road gets collapsed every two years due to poor renovation.
“I have been plying this road now for the past ten years. Every two or three years, we see caterpillar grading the road. We also see tippers offloading laterite and little repair works being carried out.
“But, less than two years, the road will get worse again. This is due to the fact that the road is poorly reconstructed.
“The road needs to be asphalted with thick and concrete coal tar. If that is not done, it will still get worse next year. That is if we survive it this year because it almost impassable now.”
On how the road has impacted on his transport business, Mr. Okonkwo stated that ” apart from the fact that the road takes longer time to ply, our motorbikes and vehicles easily get spoilt after plying the road. Many motorists and commercial motorbike operators have avoided the road. Some of us who have the liver to ply the road usually charge double the fare it was supposed to be.”
Narrating further, he stressed that ” it is not funny at all. About two days ago, I fell inside the dirt with my passenger after a heavy downpour that early morning.”
Appealing to the state government, Mr. Okonkwo said that ” we are appealing to the government of Charles Chukwuma Soludo to come to our aid at Ifite Awka and remedy our situation by asphalting this road ameliorate students suffering.”
Another resident, Ichife Emmanuel said “it’s not all about news. Don’t forget His Excellency, Gov. Charles Soludo once came here. We talked to him one on one and he promised to double lane this same road. But till now, nothing has been done.
“They always come around to take measurement of the road but would that be enough? After measuring the road 247 without doing anything, nothing has happened. Even some journalists came here one certain time. Thank God they got my attention on interview and I accepted and spoke my mind.
“I suggested on few things and hoped they were going to get the attention of the authorities involved but nothing they didn’t air my interviews and didn’t post that particular one maybe because I didn’t talk about what they need to hear.
“Let’s move this state to another level because Anambra is one of the best state as far as I’m concerned. We are so much blessed more than every other state around Nigeria but why is all this bad road and insecurity spoiling the reputation of great state called light of the nation? Let’s just speak out.”
In any case, all efforts by our reporter to get the reaction of the state commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ifeanyi Okoma proved abortive as he was not picking his calls.
However, one of the governor’s aides Valentine Ozigbo explained that the contract for the reconstruction of the road has been awarded by the state government.
“Governor Soludo has approved the release of the sum of Eight Billion, Six Hundred and Eighty-Two Million, Five Hundred and Seventy-One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Forty-Seven Naira for the construction of Amansea-Ifite Road-Aroma-Overpass-Ekwueme-Government House Road.
“It has been awarded. I believe transformation doesn’t happen overnight. One step at a time.”