OGONI-ANDONI-OPOBO/NKORO UNITY ROAD
A chirp into the future. Much ado for nothing!
By Omuso Accra-Pepple
The Dr. Peter Odili led Government initiated the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro Unity Road to connect and wheedle growth in every facet between and among the different ethnicities concerned. The original idea was to create access to modern land transportation which on the long run will propel even development. Research from sources revealed that the Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration funded the project but the State Government undertook complete monitoring and implementation. History will give credit to the initiators of this mammoth project that cuts cross neighbors in the fortitude of service. But that was a mere façade as an inch of the project was never accomplished during that regime. The fact that Opobo/Nkoro LGA was privileged to have produced a Deputy Governor in the Millennium democratic era still did not change anything.
Without political chauvinism, the previous government under Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi did the greater percentage of the project. That administration completed 13 bridges that link the various communities including ensuring that the road got to Asarama and Nkoro correspondingly. Opobo Main Town was however left to our fates as it is today. Point of note is that some of our highly esteemed Elder Statesmen have had a shot at different times in both State and Federal Government yet does not feel there is need whatsoever to complete the project for the benefit of the common man but rather interested in ‘Stomach Infrastructures’ as observers puts it.
is the bitter truth. The project has been long politicized. Nobody seems to care about how the masses feel and will feel. One government comes with plenty promises and after they fail to accomplish it, they device another set of lies to continually ensure the people are not liberated from the shackles of penury and unawareness. It is on this premise that well meaning individuals has expressed sadness over the manner of negligence as it relates to the completion of the project. A Title Holder of the Kingdom who pleaded anonymity maintained head-on that “The Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro Unity road has thus far been used as a political campaign strategy while the concerned institutions involved are lackadaisical to completing the project once and for all. The Opobo Man is left with no other choice than to face the hard times and hope that a better government will come to our aid considering the fact that this project is a huge developmental channel capable of metamorphosing the Kingdom to its next stratum”. What this implies is that politics is the bane of the matter as our leaders don’t see it from the big picture.
Looking at it from an economic angle, completion of the Road will allow easy flow of goods, enhance progress and create sustainable pathways for further advancement. It will sure open a new vista for the people of the salt water origin. The present government at inception promised to finally complete the project yet for three years nothing has been done. As the day goes by, more and more landscapes are wearing out even as the only remaining bridge that links Ozu-Ogbulu and Opobo 2 has fallen too. The LGA Boss managed to pour white sand and created a Mini-Car passage for the festive seasons in the past two years which will not last the test of time. The raining seasons has shown that such fruitless routine are just sheer portico painted in the form of work. Worthy of note is that the amount of funds the government throws away on irrelevant things will help move this very promising Kingdom to a level of favorable competition yet the controllers of power are not seeing it from development perspective. Like the contents of politics, everybody wants to get rewards and profits from every government venture(s). The future is fast approaching without announcement and what we fail to do now; we sure will do in the future. The project is futuristic, hence most be taken serious.
To worsen the already prevalent challenge of poor infrastructural development, the contract was awarded to Faroul Construction Limited belonging to a PDP Stalwart. For years now, the contractors has failed to be accountable to the people even as the government of the day has also failed to evaluate the speed of the road and the need to give the people a sense of belonging per governance. Meanwhile, in 2019 Gov. Nyesom Wike promised Opobo people that the road was going to get toTown before May 29th. That day has duplicated itself and the project is still in a snail movement. As if the government don’t care, the only link mini-track has drastically worn out this rainy season hence not motorable as indications has shown.
From a more realistic angle, the RSG is building Flyovers in almost every part of the City especially in Obio/Akpor and Phalga with Juliius Berger fully on ground to see to the completion of every phase to the Glory of the political Lords and to the dismay of rural dwellers. Social media promoters are all clapping to our foolishness while we gradually move backward even with our rich history and contributions to the success of what you call ‘Rivers State today. Even our Brothers up there in power are not seeing anything wrong with the system because they are Beneficiaries of the government. Time to talk is now.
We are agitating for a change of Contractor. We are demanding for accountability. We are asking for a feel of governance. We are also part of Rivers State. Opobo Town needs the road more than any other part at this point in our national history. Yes, we demand a Change in the implementation approach. Other companies should bid for completion of the project since the current contractors aren’t taking the entire task serious. Let other experts come into the picture. One Man cannot monopolize the system when it doesn’t favor us one bit. We ask for equality and fairness in all facets especially infrastructurally. We ask for inclusion in the day-to-day scheme of the government. We are tired of flimst excuses in an effort to dodge what’s on ground.
Finally, if the government cannot complete the project, simply write to the Traditional institutions recognized by custom. We will not boast but have what it takes to undertake the completion of this road but that will be stepping on government toes without permission. We need to hold this government to deliver their mandate away from just jingoism. We are tired of even waiting for another campaign year. We want it now. Yes, we want a change in the personnel handling the project. We too are competent in our tentacles. Employ Opobians. Gather the best around and allow us employ our dexterity to help our Kingdom move to the next level. The high level of theft on that road is another issue bedeviling the good people of ONOLGA. The earlier the road is completed the better we can checkmate the lives and properties of indigent members of Opobo. We can’t risk our Children and Wives in the heat of criminality. We cannot fold our hands and watch our Fatherland go on extinct. We cannot just sit and watch. We want the government to act as fast as they can.