Delta State Government, Monday, commenced remedial works on the old Umutu/ Eku Road in Ukwuani and Ethiope East Local Government Areas of the state to provide an alternative to the deplorable federal road.
The State Commissioner for Works (Rural and Riverine Roads), Mr Charles Aniagwu who disclosed this while addressing journalists in Abraka, said Governor Sheriff Oborevwori was intervening on the road because of the challenges being faced by the people in navigating the failed federal road.
Aniagwu said the State Government was desirous to provide the alternative route spanning 36.5km and appealed to the Federal Government to reconstruct the entire stretch of the Agbor-Eku-Amukpe road.
The Commissioner who was accompanied by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Sir Festus Ahon, Director of Rural Road, Engr Solomon Aghagba and top officials of the Ministry, said the contractor was expected to deliver the job within four months and appealed for the support and cooperation of the impacted communities.
Aniagwu said; “Governor Sheriff Oborevwori having seen the challenges our people are going through on account of the totally failed federal road that comes from Agbor up to Amukpe roundabout, has decided that we carry out some reasonable remedial work on the Umutu-Eku road.
“This work in particular starts from Umutu to Eku so that our people can now have another option to navigate through this corridor to their different communities such that commerce and their source of livelihood are not disturbed.
“In doing that we discovered that we also have to deflood this particular corridor and for us to do that it became very necessary for us to construct this fresh road which terminates at the Ethiope River.
“You have just walked through the over 500 meters road, which is a fresh road, where we are also going to take the drain to the Ethiope River.
“We are doing it with asphalt overlay of some places or a total reconstruction of some parts of the road and it means we are going to take away the water otherwise the road will not last and Governor Oborevwori is not interested in doing a job that we will come back to do again tomorrow.
“As we are carrying out this construction work, we are also pleading with the Federal Government to take steps to repair and reconstruct the Agbor-Eku Road which is in a very terrible and deplorable state.
Speaking at the palace of the Ovie of Oruarivie-Abraka Kingdom, HRM Akpomeyoma Majoroh, Ojeta II, Aniagwu appreciated the king and elders of the kingdom for the cooperation extended to the government in the course of starting the remedial works.
“I was told you have spoken to your people to remove all obstructions on the way and we can’t thank you enough. Our people cannot continue to go through very excruciating experiences going through the federal road.”
In his remarks, Ojeta II, lauded Governor Oborevwori and the Delta State Government for coming to the aid of the impacted communities and road users.
He pledged the cooperation of the community towards the successful completion of the road project.
“I thank Governor Oborevwori for approving the reconstruction of the road. Apart from the reconstruction I was trying to put up a team to write to the Ministry of Environment because some persons have taken over parts of the road for roadside trading.
“They have built stores on top of drains and it has been an uphill battle between us and them as well as the land owners,” he said.
The monarch also expressed concern over movement of heavy-duty vehicles on the road and called for the construction of barriers to prevent them from plying the road.
On his part, Director of Works Delta State University, Abraka, Engr Anthony Igbeka, commended Governor Oborevwori for the road project, adding that it would alleviate the suffering of students and staff of the university as well as residents and passers-by in the university community.