OROGODO BRIDGE HAS FALLEN DOWN … WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A COW IS MILKED DRY … A CASE OF CURRUPTION THAT SPUN OUT OF CONTROL

f  October 2010. Residents of Boji-Boji
metropolis particularly users of the old Lagos/Asaba road were  jolted by the sudden collapse of the
temporary bridge at the Orogodo river, after a heavy downpour that lasted
almost three hours. The bridge which was constructed by the construction firm
handling the road dualization project, Hi-Tech Limited, some months ago, to
direct traffic from the main bridge, which was destroyed, to give way for a new
one, which is still under construction, caved in after the torrential rainfall
that evening.

The collapsed bridge attracted the
attention of many Ika prominent political and community leaders, that included,
Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Hon. Ben Obuh, who was among the first to arrive the scene,
Rt. Hon. Sam Obi, Hon. Hilary Ibude, Hon. Pastor, Mrs. Cordelia Onya, Hon.
Commissioner for Women Affairs, Chief (Mrs) Herrietta-Ajuebon-Egbarin, Chief
Nick Iduwe, all who came to assess the extent of damage. Also at the scene was
the Honourable Commissioner for Works, Chief George Ugbomah.

The State Executive Governor, His
Excellency Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who arrived few hours later while, fielding
questions from newsmen,  regretted that
the poor state of the Old Lagos/Asaba Road had caused untold hardship to residents
of Boji-Boji metropolis and other Deltans who make use of the road regularly.

The governor while appealing to the
people of Ika nation to exercise some more patients and cooperate with the
state government and the contractor, said that his administration was doing all
within its power and resources to ensure that the road project was completed
soon. He disclosed that the government in recent times, has been faced with
some funding challenges, adding also that there have been technical difficulties,
which has contributed to the seeming delay in having the job completed.

In the words of the governor “ I
want to appeal to our people, the people of Agbor in particular, and other
Deltans that pass through this road, to be patient with us. We have had some
daunting challenges especially in the area of funding, which  impacted on the   project. We also had technical
challenges.     However, I want  to assure the good  people of Ika nation , that we will soon
complete the project. I know how important and strategic this road is to the
people, I will ensure it is completed soon”

While also reiterating the
governments’ resolve to dredge the Orogodo river, governor Uduaghan deplored
the indiscriminate dumping of refuse into the gutters by residents of the metropolis,
saying that it has contributed seriously to the destruction of the road,
through blocking of the  waterways. He
therefore appealed to residents to stop what he described as “ a very unhealthy  action, which has created difficulties for
the  construction firm”.

He assured that government was
doing every thing possible to have the project completed and to specification.The deplorable condition of the old
Lagos/Asaba road, whose contract has been awarded  to two different construction firms, Rotech
Engineering Company Limited and Hi-Tech Limited has continued to elicit sharp
reactions from the people of Ika nation, who have severally described its long
abandonedment by the state government as a slap on the people of the area, who
have remained supportive to the Uduaghans administration.Only
recently, the Ika Landlords/Landladies Association, the umbrella body of house
owners in Ika land staged a peaceful protest at Asaba, when they went to the
Government House, State House of Assembly and the Nigerian Television
Authority, to register the people discontent and outrage. Their  second 
protest in Agbor was however disrupted by security operatives. People
have continued to comment on the slow pace of work at the bridge and the
non-commencement of work on the road, more than three years after the governor
promised to dualize the road. Many residents and indeed the people of Ika
nation have refused to be brought into the excuse of paucity of fund, saying
that many roads have been constructed and some dualized in other parts of the
state, and wondered why that of the Old Lagos/Asaba road should be an
exemption.

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