BY CHIDI NKWOPARA, Owerri
The people of Ezihe Umucheke, Okwe, Onuimo local council area of Imo State, are passing through untold hardship, following the inaccessibility of their communities. The roads leading to this rural sleepy community are no longer motorable.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that the immediate past Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, awarded a road contract to Marcol Engineering and an appreciable job was done before the change of guards in the state administration.
Chief Rochas Okorocha stepped in as Governor. Soon after and his administration allegedly stopped funding the project and the contracting firm left the site.
Governor Okorocha awarded a fresh contract for the six-kilometer Eziama-Umucheke Okwe-Umuago road. This stretch of road was expected to connect Onuimo local council area to Ideato South local government area of the state. In his own wisdom, the Governor awarded the road project to two different contracting firms.
The contractors scrapped the top soil and later left the scene. Nothing else happened thereafter on the road.
A villager, who simply identified himself as Kelechi, recalled that “the saddest thing one of the two new contractors did was to bulldoze the Udegwu bridge and abandone the project thereafter”.
Kelechi equally recalled that the contracting firm destroyed two high tension electric poles located near the bridge, in the process of scrapping the top soil of the road.
Another villager that identified himself as Hyacinth, expressed worry that “with the rains in full force, the place has become hopeless”.
Apparently inundated with persisted cries from the villagers, the Governor paid a recent visit to Onuimo local council area to see things for himself. To say that he was shocked at what he saw is merely putting it mildly.
Okorocha not only said that the contractors were handsomely mobilized to do the job, but also wondered why they abandoned the projects. The governor immediately ordered the arrest of the contractors. Government went a little further to declare the contractors and former transition committee chairman of the local government area (names withheld) wanted.
The sad thing is that several months after these people were declared wanted, nobody has either been told if they have been arrested, taken to court or how much has been recovered from the fleeing contractors.