I have, in the last few months, been shuttling from villages to towns across the three senatorial districts of Delta State at a high frequency for various reasons that additionally paid off in a manner I least envisaged. In the vast majority of areas thus visited, the common denominator of my journeys can be encapsulated within the context of a landmark developmental statement presently dominating the geography of Delta.
My numerous trips ended up becoming a firsthand experience of the developmental strides of the Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa led government, a series of encounters that have inspired me to share those experiences with Deltans, more so for the reason of avoiding false spin from false prophets and self-seeking politicians who have appointed themselves naysayers to each and everything good the Okowa administration is entitled to legitimately take credit for.
It is as such, most gratifying to report that despite the lean purse of the state, the Okowa administration somehow managed to construct and complete 55 road projects, inclusive of an impressive 113 kilometers of concrete lined drains in its first year! As if determined by some abiding article of faith in achieving the seemingly impossible, between June 2016 and now, contracts for the construction of a further 29 roads have already been awarded.
More specifically, whereas the Oreorokpe-Eku section of the Effurun-Eku Road has, in the past one year, been fairly good, certain portions of the Osubi-Oha-Oreorokpe section of the road has been begging for urgent attention. One is thus glad to report that tremendous rehabilitation work is currently taking place in the worst of all the failed sections with the Delta State Direct Labor Agency having divided the challenged sections into several parts and commenced simultaneous work on them so as to make them pliable for road users this yuletide.
In a fashion reminiscent of the mass attack style of squaring up to a multifaceted challenge, the agency has similarly rehabilitated the Effurun Flyover section of the Effurun/Sapele and NPA/DSC expressways, Uvwie LGA; the Old Sapele-Agbor Road, Abraka, Ethiope East LGA, as well as the Ughelli-Asaba Highway by Otovwodo junction, Ughelli North LGA.
While driving from Warri to Asaba, enroute Abraka, a few days ago, I found myself having to stop briefly at the Eku-Abraka site because what I found going on there seemed more like fresh reconstruction rather than rehabilitation. Barr. Alex Esiyoma, an impressed public affairs analyst, who is from Ethiope East LGA and does his business in Warri, remarked after watching the massive deployment of equipment, machines and human resources: “There is still hope for Delta State; truly Okowa is working”.
Equally crucially, the conspicuous presence of the Special Security Unit code-named, “Eagle Net” in particular has verifiably discouraged armed robbers and kidnappers from the flashpoints they had de facto appropriated across the state. Capitalizing on the failed portions which naturally forced motorists to stop, kidnappers in time past had had a field day. As we speak, incidences of such heinous crimes have nosedived across the state.
While on my voyages, I noticed that the Okowa administration has completed the Reconstruction/Expansion/Construction of Kefas Road/Old Emede Road/Uzere Junction, Oleh in Isoko South LGA; Construction of the Extension of Ikokogbe / Idumuizomor / Palace Road, Owa-Oyibu in Ika North East LGA; Construction of Access Road to Awaritse Industrial Park, Obitugbo (Phase) 1 in Warri North LGA; Rehabilitation of Roundabout at Nnebisi/Okpanam/Anwai Roads and Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan Way Intersection, Asaba (Section I); Construction of Ejinyere/Orodje Streets Orerokpe, Okpe L.G.A Orerokpe, Reconstruction of Oteri Township Road Ughelli North LGA, amongst others. To any unbiased eye, these feats are a testament to responsive leadership calibrated by abiding passion and unwavering commitment to the public good within the compass of a detribalized approach to governance.
Michael Tidi is Special Assistant on News Media to Governor Okowa.