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The Forgotten Unity Andoni Roads

 

During the wake of 1991 the entire indigene of Obolo in the present Andoni local government area of Rivers State were greeted with cheers and enthusiasm of witnessing some rays of light at least walking on a good road within the territory of Obolo.

This was sequel to the brokered news of the award of the construction and building of the Ngo Oyorokoto express road on the Andoni main land by the Rivers state government under the then leadership of chief Rufus Ada George, as executive Governor of old Rivers State.

The joy became seemingly real when the Local Government Council led by Hon. Godson Inwon Dienye then Chairman of AndomiOpobo Local Government Area began the construction of the said road from Ngo Jetty.

Information available at my disposal alleged that Rivers State government had ordered the termination of the road construction with the claim that it was a state Government road, hence cannot be handled by the Local Council.

It is incumbent to know that during the year under review, the Rivers State government then had a son of the soil, Engineer, Sampson Adumu Nerebara as the state commissioner for works and transport, and the order was allegedly said to have proceeded from his office, I stand to be corrected if at all.

But, what I am sure of, was that, the said commissioner, who incidently was the first ever appointed commissioner from Andoni then as a local government, hails from a community called Isiama in Andoni. That also is my community by the Grace of God. And I can recalled that Engineer Sampson was very-very optimistic about the take-off and completion of the said road when he told the Isiama community in a meeting at town square that all the monies meant for that road was in his private account, assured them that even at the expiration of his tenure, the road would be completed.

Fellow compatriots, that road either embarked upon by the Rivers State government or the council terminated at Ayama Agana, leaving those from Agwut-Obolo to Oyorokoto at the mercy of flood and untold accident during winter and wilderness experience at summer season. May God help us.

More so, from historical accounts of well meaning Nigerians, the road linking Andoni to other part of the state had its roots from that very administration led by his Excellency Chief Rufus Ada-George.

That road finally came into fore as approval were further made and construction began under the administration of his Excellency Dr. Peter Otunanya Odili of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Indeed, that road was according to history and watchword termed a stop gap between the Andonis and their brothers, the Ogonis hence it was Christened “Unity Road”.

Yes, innovations are welcome development, as the work on the road creeps; it was further decided and redesigned to connect the Opobo people with the name tag as suitable. That road, without mincing words was the main issue for political campaigns not only by the PDP but by other political Parties who intended to win the votes of the electorates from Andoni, Ogoni and Opobo respectively.

However, His Excellency Dr. Odili had spent Eight Year in the Brick House, and left without completing the all-important road to not only the Andoni people but their brothers and the entire Nigeria.

The ruling peoples Democratic Party, PDP and other political Parties again centered their debates and campaigns on that singular road as they canvassed for votes, especially in the 2007 general elections that brought in His Excellency Sir Celestine Ngozichim Omehia and later his cousin the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

Permit me to say that, after the initial four years first tenure, another two years and two months is some into the second tenure of the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s administration. What is the plight of the people of Andoni, and Opobo in particular; what is their sin that a particular project could not be completed in fourteen years.

I am worried if this very road would come to pass. The very December which the people of Andoni were promised to drive with their cars to Ngo-Town, headquarters has come and gone and where are we?

The economic, political, social and cultural benefits to be derived from this road can not be overemphasized as the state stand to count its gains when completed.

The fear of this administration commissioning this project grips me each time I evaluate political activities going on in the state either openly or not.

I am particularly worried now than ever because, days and months a waits nobody and as the time is speedily running so is political activities getting set to begin, when all attentions will be focused on who occupies where and not how to complete Ongoing projects.

Let me use this medium to appeal to Rivers State Government to consider the people on the axis where the “Unity Road” is passing through for a positive way of life.

I am convinced that if the road is completed, there must definitely be a better means of power supply as the people may be linked to national grid with ease. The ongoing power project is creeping because the road is a major obstacle.

Again, I am optimistic that election personnel’s and materials will no longer be wrecked in boat mishaps, adequate Land transportation system will be witness by the people.

The Andoni people in Rivers State pays the highest fare to and for their villages, this could be a thing of the past if my prayer is harkened to.

May I further appeal to Rivers State Government that the Unity Road should not be abandoned and forgotten as the Ngo-Oyorokoto road without any truth about it. Where monies paid t someone’s private accounts is nowhere to be signed.

Andoni people want to enjoy their taxes and benefits accruing from their God given Natural resources. ###

With James Mgboineme

Jamesprojectgodwin@yahoo.com.

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