That Unity Road: The Joy of Andoni Citizens Robbed?
Though Truth is constant, it is bitter to those depriving and denying it. What would have constituted one of the greatest joy for the people of Andoni (Obolo) extraction, “the unity road” seems completely ignored, and swept under the carpet 16 years running.
When it began, the people Andoni were like living in a mini heaven as they were bath in euphoria (joy) on hearing and seeing the commencement of work on the unity road.
The said Unity Road is the access point and route for the Opobo and Andoni ethnic nationalities through the Ogoni axis of Rivers State to the capital city of the state. If completed would have earn the people joy and ease of a stressed life and incessant accident occasioned by boat mishap and piracy.
Unfortunately, it is regrettably that the perceived joy of the people is not only halted, delayed or denied but robbed by the relevant authorities. It is on record that the people of Andoni would have driven home at the end of 2013, but the expectations were killed for not keeping to the said promise.
Subsequently, the Rivers State Government announced the released of a One billion naira (N1bn) which would take the project to a near conclusion or commissioning. Acknowledging that the fund so released could not go any inch, or be enough to prosecute the job, the construction firm, RIVIGO, did not only accepted but allowed the state government to make laud noise about it, it is unfortunate.
The people of the area are suffering from a kind of untold hardship due to the condition of the road which makes it impassable and accident trap for its users as well as a robbery spot.
The concern for the poor masses using the road and the daily hardship faced by the people has prompted Issues Abattoir to comment on this road again.
Unity Road leads to the one stop shop for the famous tourists’ attraction area in Rivers State and one of the fish farm in the state. But with the inability of the present government to conclude the project started since the Dr. Peter Odili led administration, the hope, joy and conscience of the people is considered dashed against the government and its policies.
The Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Engineer Tele Renner Ikuru’s administration is said and believed to be an Andoni’s administration, yet if the road project which links Andoni and the state on land is not only ignored, abandoned but robbed, then which administration would complete such project? Andoni people wondered.
Though Eng. Tele Ikuru does not posses the power to order the completion of the road linking his local government rather would always play a beggarly role, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is believed to love the people of Andoni and Andoni as an entity, what then could be the sins of the Andoni people for such magnitude of delayance in completing the all important unity road when the state is not financially broken.
It is expected that the sitting of the fish farm and ofcourse the Atlantic beach and tourists’ scenes would have propelled the state government to speed up the completion of the road before the end of the current administration. The question however is, how would the people and government access the multi-million naira fish farm as the probability of its operations commences shortly?
Dakuku Adol Peterside was a Commissioner for Works in the state and in his tenure the road was consequently diverted to Opobo other than its original design. That was a welcome development and a credit to the commissioner who has his people at heart.
It is also on record that the Dakuku tenure saw the most speedy rate of the project especially as it affected the Opobo axis of the road construction. Believe it or leave it the Andonis raised eye brow over the speed of the construction then on Opobo axis as it rendered that of Andoni axis dormant.
However, Dakuku has vacated the seat for an Ogoni born politician and an adjudged then best local government chairman premised on his achievements in office as chairman of Gokhana. The outspoken commissioner for Works, Hon. Victor Giadom suddenly abandoned his well known speed in delivering dividends of Democracy months after assumption of office as commissioner.
But what is he hoping to do in the case of the unity road which also is of vital importance to the Ogoni ethnic nationality? It is expected that, Giadom would have prevail that his name be written positively in gold as a commissioner who brought his experience, expertise and influence to bear in completing the road like the Uche Secondus and Dr. Peter Odili whom history would not be forgetten in a hurry on the planning, designing and commencement of the “Unity Road” project in Rivers State.
While the countdown for the exchange of baton, or call it exist of the current administration from the Brick House or hand over of power on May 29th, 2015 approaches, precisely seven (7) months from now, the people of Andoni believes that the “Unity Road” could still be completed since the resources are available and in 6 months commissioned before the governor vacates office.
The Andonis in particular have overstayed their driving into Ngo town, headquarters of the local government Area even as the Opobos whose axis is near completion are anxious to drive home with their vehicles.
Meanwhile, now that the Federal Government has awarded a Federal Technical College to Andoni, it is expedient that the road project be completed in other to assist in conveying building materials and personels for the multi-million naira school project to its logical conclusion.
It is a plea, “Let not unity road becomes an aspect of discouragement, excuse or reason for a possible abandonment of such a federal presence in Andoni for the first time.”
It is at this juncture that the services, expertise and intervention of the Federal Government is implored to take over the completion of the road, since it would also serve as an economic base and means to the nation through its tourists business, remember Andoni harbours the elephant, lion and other species of wild animals in its forest by the Atlantic ocean.
However, Issues Abattoir suggests that the seeming robbery of the joy of Andoni citizenry be immediately reversed to enhance the peoples’ faith in the present day government and a feeling of belonging rather than that of neglect and abandonment.
“Complete the Unity Road” within the next six (6) months and have Andonis vote in bloc come 2015”.
Again, the people of Andoni have vowed not to accept any form of campaign arising from the uncompleted unity road from any politician as it is long overdue, if not completed.
Let the truth always remain constant and those affected respond to it positively for possible productivity. ###
With James Mgboineme