By Dennis Agbo
ABAKALIKIâ€”All the federalÂ roads that cut across different parts of Ebonyi State have become impassable and are now death traps to motorists and commuters that ply them.
Only yesterday, a commercial lorry carrying sand collided with a Nissan saloon car at the Nkalagu area on the Abakaliki-Enugu highway with two feared dead, thus increasing the number of deaths due to accidents, which regularly occur on federal roads in Ebonyi State.
The affected roads include Abakaliki-Enugu Road, Abakaliki-Ogoja Road, Abakaliki-Afikpo Road, 9th Mile- Nara-Ohaozara Road, Nkalagu-Ikem-Nsukka Road among others.
At the Abakaliki-Enugu Road, large potholes have perforated the entire road, stretching from the Nkalagu boarder to Abakaliki capital territory, whereas the Enugu State end of the busy road has been patched by the Enugu sector of Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA). The Ebonyi State sector of FERMA showed little presence between Nkalagu and Ezillo but disappeared leaving the remaining length of road, which is now a death trap.
When contacted by Vanguard yesterday, the Ebonyi State Chief FERMA officer, Mr Okoh said he was out in the fields, promising to speak to our reporter at a convenient time.
Whereas the Abakaliki-Afikpo Road has been confirmed awarded to two contractors, namely CCC limited and Bulletin construction. Only CCC has shown presence and is currently excavating and sand filling earthwork at the Abomege end of the road pushing towards Afikpo, while the Bulletin construction only dropped their equipment and disappeared from the road for over four months.
The Abakaliki-Ogoja Road, said to have been awarded by the Federal Government is yet to witness the presence of any contractor, while the Ebonyi State Government is doing the Abakaliki-Ofuruekpe section of the road and which it hopes to collect claims from the Federal Government after execution.
The Nkalagu-Ikem-Nsukka Road recently announced to have been approved by the Federal Government has remained at the announcement stage while the Nara-Ohaozara Road has not received any attention. All these roads are in terrible states.
CondemningÂ the condition of Abakaliki-Enugu Road, a commercial bus drive with Peace Mass Transit, Mr. Casmir Ugwoke said, â€œwe are suffering in this part of the world. Our buses go for suspension repairs every week because of the portholes on this road. It is a terrible situation.â€