Umu-Aba Connect, an eminent social-cultural group in Abia State with membership drawn from very well established and successful intellectuals, businessmen and community leaders and spread across the world has called on Governor Ikpeazu to pay close attention to the current conditions of urban and rural roads in Aba and other infrastructure, especially within Aba city center, saying that there is an urgent need by the government to act.
The group expressed concern that continuous neglect of infrastructure by successive governments has brought untold hardship on citizens and businesses operating in the city forcing many to abandon the foremost industrial capital for other cities in the country.
It called on incumbent Governor of Abia State, His Excellency, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, to act immediately as Aba is speedily declining in road infrastructure, saying that the once busy city is now steadily losing its famous reputation as the industrial capital and the entrepreneurial center of Nigeria.
In an open letter, signed by the group’s publicity secretary, Umu-Aba Connect lamented that Aba is gradually declining noting that “with huge amounts of waste dumped inside drainages and on walk-ways across the previously prosperous city, with no visible efforts at managing the growing tons of refuse on the streets of Aba, we are concerned that the situation may get worsened”.
The letter reads in part “as an association open to the public, we have received several calls from Aba residents who have overwhelmed our association with complaints and these complaints are tended to bring to attention these burning issues which the government seemingly have neglected. It is therefore in our position to embark on independent investigation, to verify and to make our findings open and public”.
It noted that the continuous neglect of roads and other infrastructure, including the daily dumping of refuse in the city center and across business districts within Aba, suggests that there is a need for the government to take immediate action.
It further stated that the reason the group, Umu-Aba Connect Worldwide, had overwhelmingly supported the incumbent governor in the last election was that the group had received assurances that dilapidating roads and decaying infrastructure will be revived and Aba restored to its former glorious position, especially since the incumbent Governor is from Aba.
The statement reads “we, UmuAba Connect, are calling on his excellency the governor to immediately look into these issues concerning bad roads and incessant dumping of refuse all over the state. We are also using this medium to remind his Excellency that our massive support for him during his reelection was because we believed he will change things for better”
The letter further called on the governor to act immediately on the issues bordering on the development of Aba and the entire Abia State as it will go a long way to justify the confidence the group had reposed in him. The letter noted that the effort of the group to erect Bus Stop shelter in Aba town has not materialized because of undue delays while urging the government to remain open to private participation in development effort.
On roads, the group highlighted as needing urgent government intervention; Eziuku Road, Osusu Road, Omuma Road, Cemetery Road, Ngwa Road, Teaching Hospital Road, Okigwe Road, Immaculate Road St. Eugene Street and Akalama Street. It said that these are roads fewer than 3 kilometers which should be given urgent attention.
While calling on other well-meaning citizens and groups within the state to act and speak up for a renewed and prosperous Abia state, the letter advised that it was the responsibility of citizens to hold governments accountable for all its promises.
“It is of a serious concern to us in Umu-Aba Connect that our dear Aba and Abia state, which hitherto was the industrial and production center for most of the locally manufactured goods in Nigeria and which saw buyers from across West Africa trooping in mass to our city, that this same Aba has lost its place in the economic scheme due to government continuous neglect, poor management of our resources and lack of deliberate efforts toward renewing and rebuilding this once beautiful city” the group stated.